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The Value of Healthcare: Examining the Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs

Specialty prescription pill costs are risingHealthcare reform has been a major topic in America the last few years. Everyone wants to see the cost of staying healthy go down, or at least become affordable. The problem is those costs consist of several different factors. Getting control of expenses becomes difficult when one factor’s price rises. Such is the case with the increasing costs of prescription drugs.

Rising costs imperil the goal of maintaining good health and create the potential for greater costs in the long run. The obstacles presented by the inability to afford needed medication put many people’s long-term health at risk. According to research by Truveris, the cost of prescription medications was 10.9% higher in 2014 than it was in 2013.

The Rising Cost of Chronic Conditions

Higher costs for needed medications are particularly damaging for those with chronic conditions. The Affordable Care Act has removed the barrier of pre-existing conditions, but some insurance carriers are passing on a higher percentage of those costs than before.

For insurers, the philosophy behind passing on those costs is to create an incentive for people to make smart choices about their health. Making healthier choices, the philosophy goes, will lower healthcare costs in the long run. This offers incentive in the case of a healthy young person with no immediate problems, but it deals a devastating blow to those with chronic conditions or those who are dealing with the physical aging process.

Medicine today offers more hope for those struggling with chronic conditions than ever before. That hope, however, often comes in specific ways. Those dealing with diseases such as cancer or HIV have few drugs to choose from, and the ones they need can carry a high price tag. There are no substitutes for the specialty medications that effectively alleviate their symptoms, so they are left with the choice of paying the price either financially or physically.

The Battle Over Specialty Medications

Specialty medication pricing is higher than that for other drugs because of the very nature of these products; groundbreaking specialty drugs in particular come with substantially higher price tags due to their revolutionary nature. Two drugs up for approval, Praluent and Repatha, may cost as much as $12,000 a year, but some argue that price is fair and is a reflection of the life-saving benefits of the drug. Heated debates on this topic have appeared in the news and will likely continue to as more specialty drugs enter the market and revolutionize the treatment of chronic medical conditions as we know it.

Interested in Learning More? Attend the 2015 Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Strategies Summit.

The 2015 Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Strategies Summit is the premier forum for the industry to discuss recent and forthcoming regulations and payment model trends, and to gain case study-driven insights for improved pricing techniques in a clinical setting. With the recent influx in new payment models, this event will provide educational updates on the latest policies, global trends and future pricing alternatives.

Attendees will gain best practices for strategically navigating the constantly changing healthcare landscape. Additionally, this event will cover payer transparency issues, specialties in biosimilars, regulatory compliance for pricing, pricing on generics, new rulings related to CMS and AMP, and current reimbursement trends.

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