Top 5 Conditions Contributing to Specialty Drug Spending


While cancer spending contributes largely to medical spending, it only accounted for 6.3% of growth from 2000 to 2012.

The Visualizing Health Policy infographic outlines cancer spending and outcomes in the United States for 2015, including information about cancer mortality rates, disease burden, and growth per capita.

Spending on specialty drugs, which has been growing rapidly in the last few years, largely is attributed to oncology drugs. The per capita spending on cancer increased by 5% during this time.

However, according to the infographic, oncology was not the therapeutic category with the highest per-member per-year (PMPY) spending for 2015, according to Express Scripts.

The top 5 conditions that contributed to specialty drug spending in 2015:

1. Inflammatory Conditions

Conditions such as inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and others comprise this category. For 2015, Express Scripts reported the PMPY cost for these drugs at $89.10.

2. Multiple Sclerosis

This category of drugs cost $53.31 PMPY in 2015.

3. Oncology

In 2015, drugs for all cancers cost Express Scripts $49.62 PMPY.

4. Hepatitis C

New treatments for hepatitis C virus cost $38.44 PMPY.

5. HIV

For all HIV drugs, the PMPY cost was $31.53.

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