Express Scripts' 2011 Drug Trend Report Reveals Strong Specialty Focus

The specialty drug trend is projected to rise 17.1% in 2012, 19% in 2013, and 22% in 2014.

The specialty drug trend is projected to rise 17.1% in 2012, 19% in 2013, and 22% in 2014.

In 2011, 4 specialty classes—inflammatory conditions, multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, and HIV—accounted for nearly 70% of spend for specialty drugs covered by pharmacy benefits, according to Express Scripts’ 2011 Drug Trend Report.

The report, which includes changes in prescription drug costs and utilization and provides insights on patient behaviors and market factors, is available for download now at http://express-scripts.com/research/research/dtr/. This year’s report focused on the waste that is produced by patient non-adherence and included an overview of the challenges, solutions, and trends that are expected with Medicare and Medicaid.

Many topics in the report have a strong specialty drug focus, especially in terms of the top 3 traditional therapy classes—inflammatory conditions, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Specialty drugs saw greater cost increases, higher adherence, and a shift to higher cost therapies. Although the traditional drug trend is projected to be negative, the specialty drug trend is projected to rise 17.1% in 2012, 19% in 2013, and 22% in 2014. All of the top 10 classes in the analysis showed increases in total PMPY (per-member-per-year) medical spend, with trend for 4 classes exceeding 25%.