; SPECIALTY DRUGS A SURGING COST FOR EMPLOYERS
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SPECIALTY DRUGS A SURGING COST FOR EMPLOYERS

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Specialty drugs, some costing thousands of dollars for a single dose, are growing into a major cost factor for employer health plans. Developed in biotechnology labs to treat cancers, multiple sclerosis and rare diseases, specialty pharmacy drugs barely existed a decade ago. The rise in specialty pharmacy costs, which Keith Bruhnsen, an independent consultant, estimates could consume 20% to 40% of an organization's drug spending in the next five years, have presented pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, with new business opportunities. Bruhnsen agrees with PBMs that the best way to manage costs is to make sure patients are getting the supply they need and are taking the drug regularly.

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