Specialty Pharmaceuticals

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Berke Executive Search Is Dedicated to Specialty Pharmaceuticals

Finding talent, as a life sciences recruiter, is our responsibility; however our team members at Berke Executive Search are also dedicated to research. Knowledge of the healthcare sectors we serve enables us to perform specialized searches with the proper industry insight. Our recent research in the specialty pharmaceuticals industry has positive projections for the upcoming years.

Specialty medicines are prescription drugs that require special handling, distribution and/or administration. Many specialty medicines are large molecule biologics that are delivered via an injection or infusion and are used to treat chronic, complex diseases. They represented 25% of all drug spending in 2013 and it is estimated by ExpressScripts that by 2018 they will account for half of the 100 top selling medications by dollar sales value.

Orphan drugs are a special subset of the specialty market and had been the focus of smaller manufacturers. Recently, even large Pharma companies are getting into Orphan Drugs, changing their strategy in terms of R&D focus. R&D strategies of big Pharma are being refocused based on the 2012 Safety and Innovation Act, which states that a drug company with a “breakthrough therapy” for a serious disorder is eligible for accelerated review and approval from the FDA.

According to a 2013 report from EvaluatePharma, of the 43 new drugs approved by the FDA in 2012, 15 (35%) were orphan drugs. The worldwide orphan drug market will grow to $127 Billion by 2018.

According to Express Scripts, one-third of all Specialty Drugs currently in development (about 900 of them) target cancer and related conditions, but Specialty Drugs manage many other diseases including HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Hepatitis C and Crohn’s disease. The average cost for a specialty medicine therapy currently ranges between $35,000 and $85,000 per patient per year.

US spending on Specialty Drugs to treat complex diseases like cancer, MS, and RS is projected to increase 67% by the end of 2015 according to the ExpressScripts forecast. Prescription drug spending on eight of the top ten specialty therapy classes will continue to increase over the next three years. This is due to both the robust pipeline of new biologics, which are expected to command higher drug spending than any other area except diabetes.

Specialty Drugs require special positioning to consumers from a marketing, education and adherence standpoint. Specialty Drugs provide more targeted and less toxic treatment options to patients and more opportunities for self-administration. The high cost and complexity of the conditions and their treatments create a need for a much more holistic approach to patient treatment. As a result, Specialty Drug manufacturers, specialty pharmacies and reimbursement support organizations are all expanding their roles are service providers – delivering patient management services and support.


All Berke Team Members work diligently to remain up-to-date in the Specialty Pharmaceuticals Industry. Contact a leading life sciences recruiter at Berke Executive Search for more Specialty Pharmaceuticals information or resources: The Team or call the Main Office at (267) 483-8951 .

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At Berke Executive Search, our pharmaceutical and biotech recruiters conduct highly specialized searches and assessments to ensure that your talent acquisitions exceed expectation and contribute to the growth of your business, allowing you to emerge as a global presence.

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