Specialty Drugs

Innovative new drugs hold great promise for patients with chronic conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDS, and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. Often derived from living cells, these “specialty drugs” can save lives and alleviate suffering, but they frequently are costly. Prices can range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient per year. In fact, although fewer than 2 percent of all patients use such drugs, they are projected to account for more than half of all drug expenditures by 2020.

Our Work

  • Compounding Is Not a Safe Solution to Rising Drug Prices

    Pharmacists often make drugs for patients whose clinical needs cannot be met by a commercially available product, a practice known as compounding. But should pharmacists compound drugs to reduce costs for patients and the health care system? Read More

  • Beyond EpiPen: Prices of Lifesaving Epinephrine Products Soar

    People with life-threatening allergies have long relied on the EpiPen, an injection device that dispenses epinephrine, to reverse symptoms of severe allergic reactions. But steep price increases for the drug over the past decade—including a more than 100 percent increase in the past three years—have sparked outrage from consumers who now face sizable, and often unaffordable,... Read More

  • What’s Driving Increased Pharmaceutical Spending?

    In April, IMS Health, a pharmaceutical data analytics company, reported that drug spending in the U.S. totaled $310 billion in 2015, an 8.4 percent increase from the previous year. Unlike some other estimates of drug costs, this analysis takes into account the rebates and other discounts that drug companies grant payers to effectively lower the price of drugs compared with their invoiced prices. ... Read More

Media Contact

Erin Davis

Officer, Communications

202.540.6677