How Has the Emergence of Orphan Drugs Impacted Specialty Drug Costs?

Jonathan Ogurchak, PharmD, CSP, vice president of Business Operations at PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy, discusses the impact of orphan drugs across the specialty landscape.

Ogurchak: The cost of orphan drugs is often touted as one of the hallmarks of what makes an orphan drug—It’s usually more costly. While that is the case in some instances, the overall cost and effect of orphan drugs expenditures is only about 9% of overall healthcare spend.

What you’re looking at is a very small portion of the industry that is being effected. And these drugs are really designed just to do that. They’re designed to help patients who are the sickest of the sick and who don’t have any other options other than the therapies that are out there. Although they may have a slightly elevated price point, the overall impact is minimal based on the volume that is associated with it.

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