Prime Therapeutics study shows costs rising for hereditary angioedema drugs

A study of individuals with hereditary angioedema (HAE) shows they are accumulating specialty drug costs of more than $300,000 annually on average, Prime Therapeutics, LLC said Monday. 

HAE, a rare genetic disorder that results in potentially life-threatening edema or swelling of the abdomen, limbs, tongue, face or larynx, affects approximately 20 out of 1 million Americans. Wholesale acquisition costs of specialty HAE drugs range from approximately $5,000 to $11,000 per dose.

"Costs for HAE drugs are increasing at the same time the number of people being treated is increasing, and a subset of people incurred substantial treatment costs," Prime Therapeutics Director of Health Outcomes Patrick Gleason said.

During their two-year study, Prime Therapeutics found that 17 out of 1 million commercially insured members have HAE diagnosis. The study revealed 212 members had used a HAE drug, with more than $69 million in HAE drug costs, averaging $325,675 per member. Additionally, 23 people out of 12.5 million commercially insured members had more than $1 million in HAE drug costs.

"This analysis demonstrates how essential integrated medical and pharmacy benefit claims reporting is to understanding HAE drug use and costs,” Gleason said. “With the integrated data, we have a clear picture of use and costs and can build care management programs to help our members and their health plans make the best use of these specialty drug treatments, prevent waste and improve care."

The study will be presented Thursday at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 27th annual meeting and expo in San Diego.

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Prime Therapeutics LLC 1305 Corporate Center Dr Eagan, MN - 55121