(A version of this Health Alert was published by Forbes.)
Specialty drugs are typically high-cost prescription drugs used to treat complex chronic and/or life threatening conditions. Many do not have substitutes available at lower costs. Over the last decade, the Medicare Part D benefit has imposed high out-of-pocket costs as a way to control costs of specialty drugs. This is causing many patients not to fill prescriptions. Some patients may be adding costs to the system by getting drugs more expensively by injection in doctors’ offices, where they are covered by Medicare supplemental insurance.