Strategies for Controlling Specialty Drug Costs

CVS Health's call for costs control mechanisms for a new class of cholesterol drugs serves as a warning for future treatment cost issues that may impact how specialty drugs are handled in the future.

CVS Health’s call for cost control mechanisms for a new class of cholesterol drugs serves as a warning for future treatment cost issues that may impact how specialty drugs are handled in the future. More importantly, it could impact how all drugs are distributed.

Brand-name drugs have always been expensive, but those expenses are nothing compared to the new biological products that created the specialty pharmacy distribution systems in place today. Drugs that treat chronic diseases via lifetime administration have different financial consequences that may require different strategies to control costs.

This raises questions about what we can afford, whether we need to consider rationing, and how we should determine who gets the treatment.

Perhaps I am being an alarmist, but it does seem like the issue of high drug costs is different this time. What do you think?