Catamaran Informed Trends™ Report Reveals Diabetes Drove Traditional Drug Trend; Specialty Trend Grew to 20 Percent

Catamaran reports overall drug trend more than doubled in 2014, driven by increased specialty utilization and drug inflation

SCHAUMBURG, IL, April 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Catamaran Corp. (NASDAQ: CTRX, TSX: CCT), a leading provider of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services and technology, today released its annual Informed Trends™ report – revealing that diabetes accounted for a major share of the increase in traditional drug trend. Diabetes had the highest trend of any top traditional therapeutic class at 21.1 percent. This was predominantly driven by increases in medication costs – with insulin alone accounting for 30 percent of the unit cost increase for traditional trend.

Overall commercial drug trend was 5.7 percent in 2014; more than double the 2.4 percent overall trend in 2013, primarily due to the increases in drug costs and new drugs entering the specialty market. Though specialty medications represented only one percent of claims, the category accounted for more than 28 percent of total drug costs. New-to-market hepatitis C therapies had a strong impact on drug mix – the most significant driver of specialty drug trend.   

"As new drugs with greater promise for managing and curing serious chronic diseases emerge – including diabetes – double-digit drug trend will become a real possibility in the coming years," said Sumit Dutta, M.D., M.B.A., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Catamaran. "Medicine will play an increasingly more important role in healthcare, and driving adherence to those therapies will help reduce hospitalizations, emergency room visits and other costly expenditures – and ultimately, improve quality of life."

"As a PBM, our job has always been to ensure our members are utilizing the most clinically-sound and cost-effective course of treatment," Dutta added. "Managing utilization, dosing and adherence while also leveraging our scale in the supply chain to control costs is a critical element of our strategy in helping clients navigate through today's fast-moving drug innovation pipeline."

Catamaran has already demonstrated success in driving adherence to costly medication therapies through its specialty pharmacy, BriovaRx®. The specialty pharmacy has reported 9.1 percent better adherence rates among its hepatitis C patients, when compared to those treated at non-BriovaRx pharmacies.

Specialty drug trend was 20 percent, compared to 14.3 percent in 2013, largely due to increased utilization among hepatitis C patients who commenced treatment once improved therapies became available in 2014. The top five specialty classes by spend, in order, were autoimmune, multiple sclerosis, cancer, hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.

Health Insurance Marketplace Population Balancing Toward That of Average Health Plan

Catamaran's report also provides key insights into the 1.3 million members that the company now serves from the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM). In 2014, this group spent five times as much on viral-related diseases – including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C – than Catamaran's commercial population; 48 percent of HIM enrollees' pharmacy spend was in the specialty drug category. Dispelling the notion, however, that this population's pharmacy benefit would be more costly than a typical, traditional health plan, Catamaran saw the group begin to trend younger and healthier later in the year:

  • 64 percent of enrollees were 45+ years old in the first quarter, but this decreased to 55 percent by the fourth quarter.
  • Average cost per utilizer went from $338 to $171 during the same time period.
  • 29 percent of early enrollees were treating five or more conditions compared to only 16 percent of year-end enrollees.

Catamaran's 2015 Informed Trends report is available for download on, and the company is also offering high-level insights on Catamaran's trend portal. Catamaran will be hosting a complimentary webinar for a deeper understanding of the key takeaways on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Interested attendees can register here.

About Catamaran
Catamaran, the industry's fastest-growing pharmacy benefits manager, helps organizations and the communities they serve take control of prescription drug costs. Managing more than 400 million prescriptions each year on behalf of 35 million members, our flexible, holistic solutions improve patient care and empower individuals to take charge of their health. Processing one in every five prescription claims in the U.S., Catamaran's skill and scale deliver compelling financial results and sustainable improvement in the overall health of members. Catamaran is headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., with multiple locations in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit, and for industry news and information follow Catamaran on Twitter, @CatamaranCorp.

For further information contact:

Lauren Denz
Tel: (630) 945-2532

Tony Perkins
Tel: (312) 261-7805

SOURCE Catamaran

For further information: Media: Lauren Denz, Catamaran, Tel: (630) 945-2532,; Investors: Tony Perkins, Catamaran, Tel: (312) 261-7805,

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