Market Forecast Predicts 3.1% Increase in Hospital Drug Spending

The investigators also predicted that the increase in indications of novel diabetes treatments and their increased use is likely to result in greater expense.

Vizient forecasted a 3.1% increase in total pharmaceutical spend for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and non-acute providers between January 2022 and December 2022 in their Pharmacy Market Outlook. The investigators predict that, while oncology will remain the top therapeutic class in spend by Vizient member purchases, COVID-19 will have a pronounced effect on member drug prices.

“Throughout the course of last year, we have learned much about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has evolved the available treatment options for COVID-19,” said Dan Kistner, PharmD, group senior vice president of pharmacy solutions at Vizient, in a press release. “The continuing emergence of variants, combined with significant vaccine hesitancy, is creating doubt that we will have a quick return to normal and has led Vizient to increase its projections on overall spending on related treatments.”

During the period evaluated to create these predictions, April 2020 through March 2021, remdesivir (Veklury; Gilead) was the third highest spend drug overall among Vizient members and the highest spend infectious disease related medication. Based on the uncertainty surrounding the continued progression of COVID-19 infection rates, Vizient predicts providers will continue to devote attention to the array of infectious disease-related medications.

Vizient also projects that oncology medications, which make up almost 25% of their member spend, will increase 3.25%, with numerous new molecular entities approved by the FDA. The forecast also suggests the rheumatoid arthritis drug adalimumab (Humira; AbbVie) will continue to be ranked first in terms of spending until biosimilar competition ultimately arrives, while spending on diabetes products such as insulin will increase by 2.63%.

The investigators also predicted that the increase in indications of novel diabetes treatments and their increased use is likely to result in greater expense. They note, however, that biosimilars could potentially introduce competition to this market, which providers should monitor for potential implementation.

REFERENCE

Vizient Pharmacy Market Outlook forecasts 3.10% increase in drug spend, reveals impact of COVID on hospital pharmacy purchases [news release]. Businesswire; July 28, 2021. Accessed August 2, 2021. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210728005236/en/