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New Report Identifies Most Expensive Specialty Drugs

RGA Reinsurance Company, a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated, (NYSE: RGA) today released a report identifying 183 high-cost specialty drugs, defined as costing greater than $50,000 annually or $7,000 monthly, based on wholesale acquisition costs (WAC) of each product identified. The report and accompanying management tool serve as a resource to educate and inform healthcare professionals about high-cost drugs.

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Of the 183 drugs on the list, 126 (69%) cost more than $100,000 per year, and 48 of those (26%) cost more than $200,000 annually. The most expensive drugs in annual cost include:

  • Glybera, which is indicated for the treatment of lipoprotein lipase deficiency ($1,210,000). This product is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is available in Europe.
  • Ravicti, indicated for the treatment of urea cycle disorders ($793,632)
  • Lumizyme, indicated for the treatment of Pompe’s Disease ($626,400)
  • Carbaglu, indicated for hyperammonemia ($585,408)
  • Actimmune, for the treatment of severe, malignant osteopetrosis and chronic granulomatous disease ($572,292).

According to the report, hemophilia and related disorders are some of the most expensive diseases to treat medicinally. Treatment options include, 34 different specialty drugs listed at $100,000 or more per year. RGA’s report, which is available to the company’s clients, includes a detailed analysis and disease breakout on hemophilia drug costs.


Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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