News this week that Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of its 62-year-old Daraprim treatment by over 5,000% has brought drug prices back into the headlines. Overall, drug prices have risen over the past two-and-a-half years, driven for the most part by the huge price gains for specialty drugs.
Drug prices rose 13.1% last year, of which 6.4% of the gain was a credit to traditional medications, and 30.9% was due to specialty medicine prices, according to Express Scripts.
Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S., publishes an annual drug trend report that takes a look at how drug prices are changing as well as how heavily patients are using those medicines. The data come from its own members, and given the company’s wide reach, it’s fairly representative of what’s going on in the broader market.
The benefits manager broke down unit costs—which accounts for inflation as well…
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