What do Employers Need to Know about Escalating Specialty Drug Spend?
A major trend in the pharmacy space continues to be increasing specialty drug spend, which is expected to continue with the introduction of new specialty agents for oncology, autoimmune disorders and rare diseases. In this year’s Medical Pharmacy Trend Report Employer Group Supplement, we found that 88 percent of employers reported a medical benefit spend of less than $10 million, and a year-over-year drug trend between 1-20 percent. For the few employer groups with spend above $10 million, it was due to a higher number of lives, and may be assumed that the employee mix for these groups may have included those with more costly health expenditures.
The Employer Group Supplement assists employer groups and third-party administrators in determining specialty drug trends and strategies to solve complex challenges impacting the medical benefit drug landscape. Our goal is to expand the information shared with employer groups to create a more dynamic picture of specialty drug management and help employers make more effective healthcare decisions. Building an effective medical benefit drug management strategy requires an in-depth knowledge of and expertise in this complex area, but it’s essential to help employers rein in costs and improve the quality of care for members. It is our hope that the survey data presented in this report helps employer groups begin to think about and investigate escalating medical pharmacy costs.