ICYMI: FDA Advisory Panel Approves New Cystic-Fibrosis Drug while Americans Continue to Pay the Price of High Cost Drugs

May 13, 2015

The New York Times: “Cystic Fibrosis Drug Wins Approval of F.D.A. Advisory Panel”

“If the drug is approved, Vertex could still face challenges getting insurers to pay for it, given the somewhat questionable efficacy. Kalydeco costs more than $300,000 a year, although Orkambi is expected to be a little less expensive, because it is for a larger patient population and is not as effective. Michael Yee of RBC Capital Markets, for instance, expects the price will be $225,000 to $250,000 a year.”

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Forbes: Drug Costs Top $50K A Year For Half Million Americans”

“With the drug industry launching more expensive targeted therapies, the number of Americans with annual medication costs of more than $50,000 has jumped more than 60 percent to nearly 600,000, a new analysis shows.

The latest drug spending trend report from pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts ESRX -0.32% (ESRX) shows 576,000 Americans with annual medication costs of $50,000 or more. That’s a 63 percent increase in 2014 from 2013 when 352,000 Americans had such high cost…Express Scripts said the number of patients taking at least $100,000 worth of medications almost tripled to 139,000 people in 2014 compared to nearly 47,000 in 2013.”

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Source: “Super Spending” Express Scripts Drug Spending Trend Report, May 2015