Number of Patients on High Cost Specialty Medications Sky-Rocketing

The prices for new hepatitis C and cancer treatments are driving the cost of prescription drugs to new highs for more Americans, according to a new report, which found that 9 of 10 patients with drug costs of $50,000 or more used specialty drugs.

The prices for new hepatitis C and cancer treatments are driving the cost of prescription drugs to new highs for more Americans, according to a new report.

Specifically, the estimated number of people in the US who took medicines worth more than $50,000 annually rose 63% last year, to 576,000, up from 352,000 the year before. And the number of Americans who are estimated to be taking at least $100,000 worth of drugs jumped 193% to 139,000 people, from 47,000.

Not surprisingly, many of these people are often among the sickest. Among those whose drug costs were at least $100,000, more than one-third were treated for at least 10 different ailments and more than 60% were taking at least 10 different prescription medicines, according to Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, which issued the report.

Read the complete article on The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1e1HVgg