by Center for Policy and Research
April 8, 2016
Recent reports have projected drug spending in the United States to grow to $560 billion – $590 billion by 2020, up from $337 billion in 2015.
Much of this growth will be fueled by the growing number of high-priced, specialty drugs coming to the market – an estimated 225 new specialty drugs over the next five years.
While specialty drugs account for less than 2 percent of all prescriptions, they make up roughly 30 percent of spending on all prescription drugs.
Almost half (47.8 percent) of the specialty drugs included in this analysis cost more than $100,000 per patient per year.
A number of ongoing state and federal efforts are developing to address the significant challenges of high- priced drugs; and in support of these measures, this report attempts to quantify the annual per-patient expenditures for an initial sample of 150 specialty medications.
Almost half of the 150 drugs studied cost in excess of $100,000 per year, with expenditures for 3 percent of the drugs studied exceeding half-a-million dollars per patient per year. We reviewed the FDA-approved dosing for a sample of 150 specialty medications prescribed to treat a variety of conditions and estimated the typical amount used in a year for a typical patient.