Growth in specialty drug spending has offset trends in higher generic drug utilization and fueled overall spending, according to CMS data and a report from Express Scripts. But pharmacy benefit management tools have kept costs significantly lower for businesses that use them. Annual specialty drug spending per employee rose 27.8% at businesses that did not use a drug management strategy, compared with 13.6% at businesses that exclusively used a specialty pharmacy combined with several utilization management strategies, another study found. "[P]lan sponsors who make maximum use of prudent pharmacy benefit management techniques will have better spending trends than those who do not," writes Edward Lawrence.

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