The Medco Drug Trend Report Is Out

Medco just released their Drug Trend Report this morning. For the second year, I got invited to their press call, but unfortunately, I had to miss the call. I sent in four questions:

  1. ADHD trend continues to increase.  With the new DSM-5 proposal, it looks like there will be more teens and adults diagnosed with adult ADD.  Do you see this accelerating the trend in this category even more?
  2. As generics get closer to 80%, the remaining brand drugs will have to try new strategies to sustain utilization.  One of the growing tactics is copay coupons or cards.  Do you see this as an issue?  Are there tactics that you intend to use to address these through POS programs or other programs?
  3. You talk about clients spending less PMPM on members age 0-18 which seems to run counter to the focus from last year on more, younger patients using maintenance drugs.  What do you attribute that drop in spending to?
  4. You bring up biologics.  It’s unlikely that biologics will generate large price drops as we’ve seen from generics.  What do you estimate will be the savings associated with biologics and will we see therapeutic interchange programs or will you manage the biologics more like a step therapy program?


Here are a few of the key highlights from the report:

  • Overall drug trend in 2010 remained low at 3.7%.
  • 2010 spending on specialty drugs accounted for 16.3% of plan costs but was responsible for a remarkable 70.1% of drug trend.
  • At 16.7%, diabetes was the therapeutic category that contributed most to trend.
  • The cost of cancer care is projected to rise from $124.6 billion to as much as $207 billion by 2020.

The report has a large focus on specialty which is really where the industry is going. I’ll dig into the report when I have some additional time.

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