- The National Business Group on Health released a 31-page report with recommendations for curbing soaring costs for specialty medicines. The number of drug approvals, spending and use of specialty medicines is expected to overtake traditional medicines in seven years, according to the report.
- Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, said that in a survey by the 420-member nonprofit organization, employers said specialty medicines were the number one cause of spiraling costs.
- The Business Group has five policy recommendations focusing on assessing and changing Medicare and Medicaid rules to generate better value and lower prices for medications, and promoting biopharmaceutical competition.
Employers struggle to keep the price of pharmaceuticals under control and employees struggle to pay for them. Healthcare costs continue to climb each year, but this is the first year that pharmacy reached the top of the list of concerns. Considering recent controversy in drug pricing, it's no surprise this has garnered attention now.
A growing demand for specialty drugs is likely to rise even more as more treatments for illnesses and diseases become available and as the workforce ages.
Senate lawmakers recently failed to pass a bill that would have allowed U.S. citizens to buy pharmaceuticals from Canada, where prices are considerably lower than in the states. The bill had bipartisan support. The bill’s passage, like the NBGH policy recommendations, could have offered employers and employees another means of holding down pharmaceutical costs.