Reports: Insurers shifting greater share of specialty drug costs to patients


NEW YORK — Some health insurers are requiring patients to pay larger sums for specialty drugs, according to published reports.

The Los Angeles Times reported that such health insurers as Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross were shifting patients to new plans that required patients to pay more for drugs to treat such conditions as HIV. The article quoted spokesmen for health insurers as saying that they were moving expensive specialty drugs from co-pay tiers to cost-sharing tiers, in many cases responding to employers' concerns about rising costs.

The story noted that about 57 million Americans use specialty drugs, which, according to IMS Health, account for 1% of drug use but 17% of drug spending by insurers.

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