Top 3 Regions that Spend the Most on Specialty Drugs

Drug spending increased 12.6% from 2013 to 2014.

It is a known fact that drug spending has dramatically increased in the last few years, due in large part to the skyrocketing costs of specialty drugs.

It is estimated that the $87 billion spent on specialty drugs in 2012 is expected to quadruple to $350 billion by 2020, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s The Health Report of America.

From 2013 to 2014, drug spending increased 12.6%, followed by an additional 7.6% jump in 2014. Drug spending for commercial health plans alone increased 15.8% in 2015, according to the report.

The report includes Blue Cross Blue Shield members who are commercially insured or are individual members. The report includes data from approximately 70.5 million members for each year.

The report outlined which regions spent the most per member on specialty drugs in 2013 and 2014. The top 3 highest spending regions are:

Middle Atlantic

This region spent the most per member in both 2013 and 2014, spending $433 and $478, respectively. This small region includes New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

New England

In 2013, this region spent $409 per member and $478 in 2014. This much larger region, which includes 6 states, was the second biggest spender, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Pacific

Another 5-state region was the third highest spender in both 2013 and 2014. The cost per member in 2013 was $369 and $443 in 2014.