Get Ready for a Surge in Costly Specialty Drugs

In recent years, spending in just about every area of the nation's health care system remarkably has slowed. U.S. health care costs rose by just 3.7 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), marking the fourth consecutive year of slow growth.

In recent years, spending in just about every area of the nation’s health care system remarkably has slowed. U.S. health care costs rose by just 3.7 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), marking the fourth consecutive year of slow growth.

Even spending on prescription drugs has continued to slow over the past several years, largely because of the rise of cheaper generic drugs — and the expiration of patents of several big-name drugs, including Lipitor and Plavix. That allowed cheaper generics to enter the market.

The one exception, however, has been spending on new innovative specialty drugs that are being rapidly cranked out by pharmaceutical companies to treat multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, and osteoporosis — even erectile dysfunction.

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Source: The Fiscal Times