January 4, 2022 – Pharmaceutical companies raised the prices of hundreds of drugs on January 1, with most prices rising 5% on average.
The prices of 460 drugs have increased, which is in line with that of recent years, according to to STAT News. The start of the New Year is the most popular time for drug companies to raise prices, with more likely to come throughout January.
Several major drugs have been included in this bundle of 2022 price hikes:
- Gilead: 5.6% on anti-HIV drugs named Biktarvy and Descovy
- Pfizer: 6.9% on breast cancer drug Ibrance, 6.9% on Prevnar pneumonia vaccine and 4.4% on heart drugs Vyndamax and Vyndaqel
- Purdue: 5% on the opioid drug OxyContin
- Vertex: 4.9% on Trikafta, a cystic fibrosis drug that has no competitors and already had a list price of over $ 311,000 per year
In particular, the increases affect the list prices of drugs, according to to Axios. Pharmacy benefit managers can negotiate lower prices for drugs through discounts, so that drug manufacturers can receive lower net prices.
“We expect net prices to continue to decline due to increased rebates and discounts,” a Gilead spokesperson told Axios.
But list prices are still what uninsured people pay, and deductibles and coinsurance rates are often based on a drug’s list price, the outlet reported. Pharmaceutical companies also often earn most of the list price of patented drugs with little competition.
“The modest increase is needed to support investments that allow us to continue to discover new drugs and bring these advances to patients who need them,” a Pfizer spokesperson told Axios.
The price increases for Vertex on Trikafta and other cystic fibrosis drugs are the “first price increases for a Vertex drug since 2017 and the first for… Trikafta,” a spokesperson told Axios.
Pharmaceutical companies did not respond to specific questions about discounts or discounts, the outlet reported.