Hospitals spent more than $1B on remdesivir last year

Hospitals spent more on the antiviral drug remdesivir used to treat COVID-19 last year than any other drug, a new report shows.

It was the first time since 2012 that AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis biologic Humira didn’t top the list, according to Vizient. Drug Price Outlook. Nonetheless, Humira was the largest contributor to drug price increases last year, and likely Stay that way until 2023, when multiple biosimilars are expected to hit the market.

“More and more people are spending on high-cost biologics like Humira, which have fairly routine price hikes every year. A small subset of products account for the majority of spending,” said the company’s senior director of pharmacy solutions Steven Lucio told the group purchasing organization, noting that Vizient’s member hospitals spent more than $1 billion on Humira last year. “Once there is competition from Humira, we expect a significant reduction in spending.”

AbbVie has benefited from nearly 20 years of Humira exclusivity, the brand patent clumps. From the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2020, the net price of Humira in the United States increased by an estimated 29.6%, related Research It has been shown, noting that prices typically spike when exclusivity on a drug ends.

Overall drug prices expected to rise keep slowing down The group buying group estimates a growth rate of 3.09% in 2023 from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2022. This is mainly due to the increasing number of generic and biosimilar drugs entering the market, the report said.

But biosimilar adoption is relatively low, which is why biologics like Keytruda, the cancer drug developed by Merck & Co., will drive drug prices up in the coming years, Lucio said.

“So much of the investigational drug pipeline is for oncology, neurology and autoimmune diseases. So even with reduced spending on Humira, other drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other diseases will be very stand out,” he said.

Like other branded drugs, Gilead Sciences is free to set the price of Veklury, the branded version of remdesivir, which costs about $2,000 for a three-day outpatient program and about $3,000 for a five-day inpatient program, Erin Fox said. , Director of Senior Pharmacy at the University of Utah Health.

She said hospitals had no choice but to accept the price, and there were no discounts, contracts or ready-made drop-in replacements.

“It’s a very expensive drug for an inpatient setting,” Fox said.

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