Specialty drug approvals by the FDA exceeded traditional drug approvals for the first time in 2010—a trend that has continued each year since. In 2014, 27 of the 51 drugs approved by the FDA were specialty drugs.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects sustained increases in drug spending of 6% or more annually from 2015 to 2022, as both drug prices and utilization increase.
Anti-competitive strategies used by some drug manufacturers, such as “evergreening” and “product hopping,” restrict access to less costly, high-value generics and therapeutic alternatives.
Health plans have developed a number of innovative strategies to address unsustainable increases in the prices of specialty drugs.