The Formulary Files

Forecast for injectable agents: more and higher cost

Twenty injectable drugs accounted for two-thirds of the total injectable costs, excluding chemotherapy agents and vaccines, at a representative HMO with two million covered lives. That is typical, says Don Dindak of Bioscrip Injectables. "Injectable agents are 8 percent to 15 percent of the total drug bill, depending on plan demographics," says Dindak. "If you compare the costs of injectable agents on a per-patient basis compared to a PBM-- regular card and mail programs — the average cost per month is $1,000 for a patient who needs a top-20 injectable drug. That is eight to ten times what a patient in a PBM spends."

And the number of injectable agents and the cost is just beginning to grow, says Dindak. "There are about 90 to 95 injectable agents available, but there are about 350 agents in the pipeline, and 40 percent are related to cancer. This increase will add significantly to the drug bill. And the cost of injectable agents is growing at a rate of 20 percent to 40 percent, about twice as fast as regular drugs are growing," he says.

The top 20 injectable drug costs in a representative HMO

Total: $35 million



Managed Care
By Peter Wehrwein
Managed Care
By Peter Wehrwein
2019 Year in Preview
By Richard Mark Kirkner