The US Cannot Afford the Price of Expensive Specialty Drugs

Although drug development is expensive, the high prices being charged for some specialty drugs, like Sovaldi, are not required to induce innovation, Len M. Nichols, PhD, wrote Monday for Morning Consult.

director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics

Although drug development is expensive, the high prices being charged for some specialty drugs, like Sovaldi, are not required to induce innovation, Len M. Nichols, PhD, at George Mason University, wrote Monday for Morning Consult.

The high cost of complex drugs, often targeted to small patient populations, are unaffordable for the individual patients and the government. Despite making up just 1% of prescriptions writte, specialty drugs accounted 25% of drug spending in 2013, according to Dr Nichols, with spending on these medications growing faster than for all other drugs. It's estimated that by 2019 specialty drug spend will account for more than half of all drug spending.

"So what price we should pay for specialty drugs? High enough to keep productive R&D investment flowing into a risky and vital industry, but not whatever the successful companies want to charge just because they can," Dr Nichols wrote.

Read the full post at Morning Consult: http://bit.ly/1J0kIFZ