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Specialty drug costs account for more than 50 percent of the total cost of care for rheumatoid arthritis and hepatitis C patients
Date:4/2/2013

osts accounted for $16,218 (54.7 percent) of $29,652 total cost of care in 2008. In 2010, total cost of care was slightly lower at 53.0 percent ($18,098 of $34,163), with a CAGR of 5.6 percent.

"These studies show the RA and Hep C pharmacy costs now go beyond all medical costs, therefore the expected medical savings cannot offset the specialty drug investment," said Gleason. "As pharmacy benefit managers and health plans strive work to improve the quality of care for individuals with specialty drug needs, the expected increases in cost of care can be lessened through specialty pharmacy management programs. These programs include care management, a limited specialty network, utilization management, and rebate contractual relationships that provide price inflation protection."

Both studies analyzed integrated pharmacy and medical claims from 1.2 million commercially insured, continuously enrolled members receiving a Hep C or RA specialty drug. Among members using these drugs, the average per patient, per year total cost of care was calculated and total cost of care was separated by the following categories: medical specialty drug, medical all other, pharmacy specialty drug and pharmacy all other.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chi
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SOURCE Prime Therapeutics
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