Future Economic Trends and Impacts to Employers

  • Industry research suggests that specialty drugs will represent as much as 40% of pharmacy plan spending by the end of 2020
  • Seven out of the top 10 highest revenue-producing drugs in the U.S. are projected to be specialty products
  • Specialty drugs for treating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancers will continue to make up approximately two-thirds of drug spend within the pharmacy benefit over the next three years
  • Unlike many specialty drugs used today, approximately one-third in the pipeline will be delivered in an oral tablet form which may actually cost more than traditional specialty drugs, as they are considered new technology. Other will be used in combination with micro-technology delivery systems (e.g. similar to insulin pens and transdermal patches used today)
  • New specialty drugs may be developed using high technology formulation and delivery systems such as nanotechnology (the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale and working with materials such as drugs and devices). Nanoparticles or implantable devices may be used to treat specific types of cancer
  • There will be an increase in the number of diagnostic and genetic tests, laboratory diagnostics and biomarkers (a traceable substance that is introduced into an organism as a means to examine organ function and other aspects of health) for drug dosing and delivery applications