IMS Health Report: Delays in Biosimilars Contribute to Rising Specialty Drug Costs

Oct 17, 2013, 11:35 ET from National Association of Specialty Pharmacy

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Biosimilar medications, which could have provided relief to the health care system as early as this year, have been delayed and now the demand for specialty medications – the often costly, complex medications prescribed in chronic care situations – will continue to escalate at a double digit pace through the end of the decade.

Those findings were presented today at a conference hosted by the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy in San Antonio, TX.  The presentation, by IMS Health, showed that specialty medications will continue their robust growth through the end of the decade. IMS Health indicated the specialty market is $93 billion and will exceed $100 billion for the first time this year in sales.

While more patients are being treated with these cutting-edge specialty medications,  there will be a lack of biosimilar products in the marketplace to offset the escalating costs of specialty pharmaceuticals in 2014, a scenario many stakeholders had hoped to avoid. 

At the beginning of the decade, health care analysts anticipated the passage of government regulations which would have permitted the introduction of biosimilars. Instead, regulatory pathways have been delayed. "Three and a-half years later we still do not have final biosimilar regulations." said Doug Long, Vice President of Industry Relations for IMS Health, a leading health care information, services and technology company.

Gary M. Cohen, BSPharm, RPh, CSP, NASP CEO said the association can be instrumental in offsetting the costs through effective and efficient administration and optimization of specialty pharmaceuticals. "It is essential that we continue to empower our specialty pharmacists by providing them with tools and education to improve both clinical and economic outcomes," Mr. Cohen said. "Our members represent all stakeholders and will continue to focus on aligning goals to improve the health of populations with specialty therapeutic needs."

About the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy 
NASP, founded in 2012, represents specialty pharmacy professionals in all practice settings and highlights the unique value its members bring to patients and the healthcare system by focusing on building collaboration among all industry associations to improve patient outcomes. Specialty pharmacy is the fastest growing segment in the industry today and NASP provides valuable benefits to members by creating a strong, unified voice for all stakeholders. Through the Specialty Pharmacy Education Center (SPEC), NASP offers education specific to specialty pharmacy in more than 20 therapeutic categories. SPEC also provides education needed to earn and maintain professional certification through the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB).

About IMS Health
IMS Health is a leading information, services and technology company dedicated to making healthcare perform better. With a global technology infrastructure and unique combination of real-world evidence, advanced analytics and proprietary software platforms, IMS connects knowledge across all aspects of healthcare to help clients improve patient outcomes and operate more efficiently. IMS' expert resources draw on data from 100,000 suppliers, and on insights from more than 40 billion healthcare transactions processed annually, to serve more than 5,000 healthcare clients globally.

To learn more about this event, please contact
Kathleen Wolff, Media Relations
National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
Office: (703) 229-7344

Media Contact: Gary Cohen, National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, 813-926-5000,

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SOURCE National Association of Specialty Pharmacy