Part D, Private Plan Spending Rises on Retail Specialty Drugs

Specialty drugs accounted for 37.7% of retail and mail-order prescription spending, net of rebates, in 2016 and 2017, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs. Average annual net spending on retail specialty drugs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries rose from $11.3 billion in 2010-2011 to $35.4 billion in 2016-2017. For private insurance enrollees, net spending increased from $24.6 billion to $57.6 billion during that time period. The growth in spending was partially driven by the increased use of retail specialty drugs — the proportion of people who obtained at least one specialty drug was 5.0% in 2016-2017, more than doubling the rate observed in 2010-2011. Meanwhile, the trend in Medicaid net spending was relatively flat.

© 2024 MMIT
Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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