Top pharmacy challenges of 2017

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pharmacy challengesHigh drug prices will continue to be the biggest pharmacy challenge for payers in 2017, sparked by the entry of many new specialty drugs on the market for some common chronic diseases— such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis—and rare diseases, such as lupus and NASH (nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease).

In 2015, drug spend was $364 billion with $98 billion attributed to specialty. These numbers are expected to climb to $483 billion, with $212 billion for specialty by 2020, according to “The 2016 Economic Report on Retail, Mail, and Specialty Pharmacies” by Pembroke Consulting and Drug Channels Institute in January 2016.

Despite being used by only 1% to 2% of the population, specialty drugs accounted for 37% of U.S. drug spend in 2015 and are projected to reach 50% by 2018, according to the Express Scripts 2015 drug trend report, released in March 2016.

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