Specialty pharmaceuticals often represent the most effective—and sometimes the only—option for treating or curing life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and hepatitis C. Despite their therapeutic value, specialty pharmaceuticals recently have garnered attention for their high costs– in excess of $100,000 per year, in some cases.

A new commentary published by IBI in The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits argues that the value of specialty pharmaceuticals–to patients, employers and society at large–has been left out of the discussion.

IBI’s commentary describes a feasible research agenda on the overall costs and benefits of specialty pharmaceuticals. Cumulatively, the findings could provide stakeholders such as employers, policymakers and patients’ groups with empirical evidence on which to formulate specialty pharmaceutical policies.