The rate of price increases of specialty drugs have outpaced those of traditional medications for years. For example, in 2014 the overall expense of specialty drugs increased 30.9 percent while traditional drugs increased 6.4 percent, according to the 2014 Express Scripts Drug Trend Report, published March 2015.
In the early years of MS drugs (1993-2002), prices remained stable. After Rebif was launched in 2002 with a price of $15,262, it took three years before the average price of MS drugs rose to $15,792 in 2005. Tysabri was relaunched in 2006 with a price tag of $25,850 after which it took about two years before the average price rose to $24,077.
2009 was the year that the overall cost of MS drugs increased a whopping 34.4 percent. After Extavia was launched at $32,826, it only took one year before the average price leveled to $32,625. The price of MS drugs had finally seemed to level out with little difference between the most and least expensive choices.
All hell breaks loose
When Gilenya was launched in September 2010, the patient community was outraged at the $50,775 price tag (or $48,000 depending on the source). It wasn’t long before the price of other MS drugs swiftly rose, closing the gap once again, as the overall expense of MS drugs increased 25.4 percent in 2010. However, the overall trend for MS drugs has slowed in recent years, even with the Aubagio ($47,651) and Tecfidera ($57,816) launches in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
The average annual cost for MS drugs is currently about $60,000 in the US.
Read this post in its entirety:
MS Drug Pricing Wars: A Race to Break the Bank?