Specialty drug spending slowdown possible: 4 key notes

Specialty drug spending could be slowing, said Doug Long, vice president of Danbury, Conn.-based QuintilesIMS at the 2016 National Association of Specialty Pharmacy's annual meeting, held from Sept. 26 to 28 in Washington, D.C., Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. Mr. Long predicts the market could slow from double-digit growth to single-digit growth.

"A lot of our advocators were thinking that in 2020, specialty would be 50 percent of all the pharmaceuticals spent," he said. "I do not think it's going to get to 50 percent. It's 36 percent now; you may get into the low 40s."

2. Direct-acting antiviral agents and their large price tags could drive the market down. As more generics entered the market and payers negotiated contracts, prices began to drop.

3. Mr. Long said the medications are lowering the potential patient base. For example, HCV is meeting a heavily medicated patient base, drastically limiting the amount of new cases in 2014 and 2015.

4. All things considered, Mr. Long said specialty markets still fare better than traditional medications.

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