11 Nov New Research Reveals Insights into Costs of Specialty Pharmaceuticals
We know that specialty drugs( most injectables, biologics, and drugs requiring specialized administration) are expensive but spending on specialty drugs has often been difficult to measure because of proprietary rebate payments by manufacturers to insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and state Medicaid agencies. A recent analysis by AHRQ researchers Hill, Miller, and Ding in Health Affairs this month found that specialty drugs, which make up a small portion of retail prescriptions filled, accounted for 37.7 percent of retail and mail-order prescription spending net of rebates in 2016–17. The researchers how that when we leverage public data resources such as the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), insights on health care finance policy can be revealed. Data transparency is key to understanding the association between cost and quality of outcomes for patients and greater access to consumer and health insurance costs are needed.