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Costly specialty drugs drive higher spending on provider-administered treatments, study finds

February 19, 2019 / Paige Minemyer

Spending per member in commercial plans on medical pharmacy drugs increased by nearly 20% between 2016 and 2017, due in part to the growing number of emerging therapies with high price tags. Magellan Rx Management, the pharmacy benefit management arm of managed-care company Magellan Health, released its ninth annual trend report diving into spending on drugs administered by providers, and it found that per-member, per-month spending on these therapies increased by 18% from 2016 to 2017, reaching an average of $29.97 monthly, for people enrolled in commercial plans. Spending on provider-administered drugs in Medicare also went up, the study found. Per-beneficiary, per-month spending increased by 12% in that same window, to an average of $52.19.