Thursday, 24 January, 2019

These drugmakers are hiking prices in 2019

Ian Read chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc. spoke with President Trump last July about pausing drug price hikes. Pfizer now plans to increase prices of 41 of its drugs later this month These drugmakers are hiking prices in 2019
Celia Hoffman | 03 January, 2019, 17:38

The average increase was 6.3 percent, according to the analysis, including increases on different doses for the same drug. But Reuters notes that the measures would provide no relief to consumers in the short term and would not give federal health agencies the authority to regulate or renegotiate drug prices.

The drugs that saw list-price increases on January 1 ranged from generics and blood-pressure drugs to brand-name prescriptions such as the dry-eye treatment Restasis.

Twenty-eight drugmakers filed notifications with California agencies in early November disclosing that they planned to raise prices in 60 days or longer. His company helps health plans and employers seek lower-cost prescription medicines.

The average price jump blew past inflation at 6.5 percent, with some medicines seeing double-digit increases-bucking many drug companies' vows to keep such periodic hikes under 10 percent.

"It's business as usual" for drugmakers, said Rx Savings Solutions Chief Executive Michael Rea, who said he believes there has to be meaningful changes to the marketplace, rather than new regulations in order for drug prices to drop.

Allergan raised prices on 51 medications, more than half of its products, the company confirmed in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer already announced it would increase prices on 41 drugs in January. 'We expect the number of 2019 increases to be even greater than in past years'.

More news: Trump shows off letter from North Korea's Kim

The list also includes Diovan, the brand name version of blood pressure treatment valsartan, generic versions of which are now in shortage after a potential carcinogen was detected in active ingredients made in China, prompting widespread recalls.

By contrast, the inflation rate in the US for the 12 months through November is 2.2%.

Bayer said that the United States wholesale price of its products are not representative of what most consumers pay and that 'list price increases are expected to be offset by higher rebates and discounts paid to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers'.

AbbVie did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Allergan is reportedly setting the pace with increases of almost 10 percent on more than two dozen products, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move came after President Trump tweeted that Pfizer and other drug companies "should be ashamed" of their pricing.

Drugmakers typically increase prices on many drugs in their portfolios at the beginning of the year, although a report from Bloomberg noted that some companies may be delaying the announcement of price increases to see what response they may receive from the White House as well as Congress, now that the Democrats are taking control of the House of Representatives.

"Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason", Trump tweeted in July of a year ago.

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