Specialty Drugs Becoming Larger Percentage of Cost of Prescriptions

May 14, 2015 1:16 PM

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Over 500,000 Americans had costs of annual medications higher than $50,000 in 2014, according to an analysis released this week. Ninety percent of those people were receiving specialty medications like the very effective hepatitis C treatment that costs over $1,000 per pill and must be used for up to 12 weeks. While cancer treatments having high costs might not seem that surprising, the emergence of hepatitis C treatments that are extremely high cost is new.

A nonprofit site reported in March that Medicare spent over $4.5 billion in treatments for hepatitis C in 2014, with $3 billion of the total spent on Sovaldi the drug that costs $84,000 for the complete course.

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