The latest Sun Life report reveals that cancer categories Malignant Neoplasm and Leukemia, Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma continue to be top drivers of high-cost claims, making up 29% of total claim reimbursements over the past four years. Therefore, it will probably come as no surprise that cancer drugs make up over half of Sun Life's top 20 high-cost injectable drugs for 2022.

The trend is consistent with last year, the report states, although some of the names have changed. Herceptin and Tecentriq, numbers 7 and 11 respectively for 2021, have dropped out of the top 20 altogether. Meanwhile, Almita, which is used to treat malignant mesothelioma and other lung cancers, moved up two spots from 21 to 19 this year. Leukemia and lymphoma drug Rylaze makes its debut on the Sun Life report at number 13, and at an average cost of over $800,000 is the most expensive drug in Sun Life's top 20. The average cost of Almita is close to $67,000.

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Rylaze is one of five drugs that were not on Sun Life's list four years ago, according to the report. The remaining drugs are: Darzalax Faspro, which treats multiple myeloma; hemophilia drug Hemlibra; Ultomiris, which is used to treat kidney clotting disorder and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome; and thyroid eye disease drug Tepezza, which is also the most expensive non-cancer drug on the list.

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.