specialty drug prices

How High Can They Go?! Specialty Drug Prices Continue to Rise

Specialty drug prices are on the rise… again.

Expensive doesn’t even begin to cover the prices we’re seeing in the specialty drug market these days. What once seemed like a simple exercise in shipping has now become a high-stakes operation, ensuring that these critical, often exorbitant, life-saving medications get where they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to.

“We’re in a whole new world. The specialty world has taken over.” Those are the words of Jeffrey Casberg, M.S., quoted in a March 2023 article in Managed Healthcare Executive.

At the annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy in San Antonio, Casberg and his colleague, Leslie Fish, Pharm.D., both senior vice presidents of clinical pharmacy at IPD Analytics, a pharmaceutical analytics and consulting firm, discussed the 31 specialty drugs in late-stage development that have been or are likely to be approved by the FDA this year, and to say that they’re costly is an understatement. “The average specialty drug price is probably $2, $3, $400,000 (per year),” Casberg said, noting that most costs are borne by insurers.

Many of these specialty drugs are being approved through the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway, which has lower standards than the agency’s full approval process. This has led to a debate as to whether many of these drugs offer results that justify the cost. Whether they do or don’t is a moot point for specialty pharmacies, as they will be responsible for dispensing the majority of these specialty drugs to patients.

Specialty pharmacists will have to level up

Clearly, with these drugs averaging around $20K a month or more, ensuring they are delivered to patients safely and securely is of paramount importance. Since patients get the best outcomes when they’re treated within the health system ecosystem, the specialty pharmacist is truly their most important link once they’ve been sent home.

That means they’ll be wise to find a shipping solution that can help them get prescriptions out the door, track and trace them to their destination, eliminate the need for package rescue, and communicate shipping updates to patients and staff.

Modernize specialty drug shipping with VPL TrajectRx

VPL TrajectRx is just such a solution. Before shipping, it creates efficient and thoughtful clinical workflows and offers options of carrier and courier to help specialty pharmacies determine shipping times and optimize costs.

Once the shipment is out the door, TrajectRx uses text alerts to provide complete visibility to pharmacy staff and keep patients automatically notified of delivery updates. This results in fewer delivery failures, increased satisfaction, and better patient outcomes, and eliminates worries about delivery failure or package rescue.

Patients deserve to know where their meds are during transit and when they’re due to arrive whether their prescriptions cost $20 or $20,000, and VPL TrajectRx makes sure they do.

If you’d like to learn more about how TrajectRx can help you become more competitive in the market by making cost-conscious decisions regarding your specialty pharmacy, visit us at getvpl.com/pharmacy-solutions.