The number of patients taking at least $100,000 worth of prescription drugs annually tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to research released this week by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.
High-cost medications for hepatitis C and cancer, as well as the increased use of expensive pharmacy-compounded drugs, were the main factors driving the increase.
Those three types of medications accounted for nearly two-thirds of drug spending by patients whose medication costs exceeded $100,000 in 2014, according to Express Scripts.
The research estimates that the number of Americans with six-figure drug bills jumped from 49,000 to 139,000 from 2013 to 2014. Among this group, 58% were baby-boomers ages 51 to 70.