Payers expect 3% minimum drug price hikes for next 3 years: 5 survey insights

Twenty-six payers expect their per-unit acquisition costs for prescription drugs to rise between 3 percent and 5 percent annually for the next three years, according to a new survey by investment management firm Cowen.

The survey fielded responses from health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and hospitals that together purchased $42 billion in medicine last year, reports STAT.  

Here are five survey insights:

1. Thirteen percent of payers attributed the expected increases to higher-priced, newer medications.  Last year, 40 percent of respondents expected cost increases would be due to these newer therapies.

2. Half of the respondents said there is a 10 percent or less chance that price controls will be implemented in the next three years. About 23 percent of respondents said there is a greater than 50 percent chance of price controls emerging in the next three years.

3. The medications most likely to influence drug spend included gene therapies as well as drugs related to oncology, liver disease, HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

4. In the next year, respondents anticipate brand drug acquisition cost per unit to increase 5 percent to 7 percent. Generic acquisition cost per unit is expected to increase by 1 percent over the next three years.

5. In order for payers to switch coverage from a brand name biologic to a biosimilar, drugmakers would need to offer a discount of about 32 percent.

Read the full report here.

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