What to do When High-Cost Drugs Rain Down

Jul 9, 2015
At Express Scripts, we constantly watch emerging therapeutics and market trends and craft solutions to maximize financial and clinical outcomes.

The wave of brand-name drug patent expirations is cresting.

From 2001 to 2014, patent expirations saved the country $200 billion, peaking at $32 billion in 2012 and averaging $14.2 billion per year. Predicted savings in 2015 and 2016 remain high: $25.4 billion and $23.9 billion, respectively.

However, we project that these savings are poised to fall drastically, to just $6.6 billion per year in 2017 through 2020.

Robust Pipeline Continues

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration’s approvals of new drugs are soaring. We expect 21 traditional drugs and 29 specialty drugs will be approved this year.

Among the 7,000+ drugs in the pipeline, cancer drugs comprise more than a third.

7000 Potential Drugs in Development

In the latest issue of Specialty Pharmacy Times, we highlight anticipated near-term specialty drug approvals, including new therapies for cancer, orphan and inflammatory conditions.

SPT 2015 Pipeline

Effectively Managing a Changing Landscape

While pharmaceutical innovations provide new options for patients, the impact to payers’ budgets is unsustainable. Fortunately, impactful management solutions exist today.

Express Scripts provides a holistic approach for effective cost-containment while ensuring patients have access to the medications they need. For example, when the price of hepatitis C became so high that payers were forced to only cover treatment for their sickest patients, Express Scripts took bold action, aligned with those we serve and created the Hepatitis Cure Value ProgramSM.  Our efforts created an industry-wide ripple effect that saved the U.S. healthcare system more than $4 billion this year and expand access to our patients. Similarly, as the cost associated with compounded medications skyrocketed, Express Scripts’ compound management solution was built to evaluate all ingredients to identify needless costs, while ensuring patients who truly need these medications maintain access. This program has delivered on average a 95% reduction in spend for plans who adopt it.

Other solutions include Medical Benefit Management, Formulary Management, Accredo® Specialty Pharmacy and many others.

We constantly watch emerging therapeutics and market trends and craft solutions to maximize financial and clinical outcomes.

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