IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), January 26, 2022 - Vizient, Inc. announced today that remdesivir, an anti-viral agent used in the treatment of COVID, now tops its list of drugs by total member spend, replacing the anti-inflammatory adalimumab (Humira), which has fallen to the No. 2 spot. The finding is reported in the Vizient Winter 2022 Pharmacy Market Outlook, which forecasts an overall 3.09% increase in drug prices for July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Remdesivir, which came to market in 2020, currently makes up 3.42%, amounting to over $1 billion, of total Vizient member spend among all pharmaceuticals analyzed in the semi-annual report. A summary of the full report can be found here.
“Before COVID, we anticipated adalimumab would remain the top drug by total spend until biosimilars are introduced to bring in competition in 2023,” said Dan Kistner, Vizient group senior vice president for pharmacy. “That remdesivir replaced it as the No. 1 drug in total member spend across all classes of trade reflects how COVID has impacted hospitals and the unanticipated costs to their budgets.”
Remdesivir, an injectable antiviral, received emergency use authorization from the FDA in May of 2020. Utilization of remdesivir has been steadily increasing since authorization. Tocilizumab, also used in the treatment of COVID, earned a new spot within the top 10 list of overall drug spend among Vizient members, coming in at No. 10.
Another notable drug in the Pharmacy Market Outlook is pembrolizumab (Keytruda), part of the oncology therapeutic class and category checkpoint inhibitors that arrived on the market in 2014. From October 2020 to September 2021, pembrolizumab made up approximately 12% of total member sales within this category, attributed to an increased number of FDA approvals for treatment of 20 different types of cancer.
“Checkpoint inhibitors have become a significant proportion of the total spend by health systems and payers due to the increase in approved indications,” Kistner said. “We may see this category being shifted to specialty pharmacy distribution channels with enforced white bagging from payers as well.”
The latest Pharmacy Market Outlook also offers new insights including a price projection for essential medications, drugs that if not available would provide the greatest threat to hospitals’ ability to provide immediate and high-quality patient care. The additional projection will help hospitals initiate sourcing strategies that prioritize inventory of these essential medications, which are projected to increase in price at 2.10%.
Additionally, the latest Pharmacy Market Outlook includes a new section on home infusion therapy, a $19 billion dollar industry that has seen a 300% growth over the last 10 years. This section of the report details factors contributing to the increased need for home infusion, such as a decrease in hospital bed days, safety concerns around COVID transmission at infusion centers and payer site of care restrictions.
The report and additional insights are available to the public at info.vizentinc.com/pharmacy-market-outlook.
About Vizient, Inc.
Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 97% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory care providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $110 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. In 2021, Vizient acquired Intalere, which expanded its footprint with ambulatory and rural acute care providers. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at www.vizientinc.com.
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