The expensive but highly effective new drugs for treating hepatitis C drove a rise of 13.1 percent in the US prescription drug spending in 2014, according to the latest report by Express Scripts.
This is the fastest increase rate in over a decade, said the report.
The company has cautioned about the fugitive cost of new medications that are now reaching the market.
Express Scripts is the biggest American manager of pharmacy benefits as well as administers pharmaceutical-related care for several leading employers.
Express Scripts made the revelations in its drug trend report for 2014 that was released on Tuesday.
The report showed that the spending on specialty drugs, for conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer, hepatitis C, etc, constituted over 31 percent of drug expenditure in 2014.
Releasing a statement, Express Scripts senior vice president of clinical, research and new solutions, Glen Stettin, said, “For the past several years, annual drug spending surges have been below the annual rate of overall healthcare inflation in the United States, but that paradigm is shifting dramatically as prices for medications rise at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate.”
According to Express Scripts, Americas spent 743 percent more on medications meant for treating hepatitis C last year than in 2013.This dramatic surge reflected the arrival of new drugs Viekira Pak from Abbvie and Harvoni and Sovaldi from Gilead Sciences.
The company said that its upcoming innovations, such as a series of cancer drugs for novel immune-system boosting and the so-called PCSK9 inhibitors for treating high cholesterol, will continue to challenge the healthcare providers in the United States.