ICYMI: Big Pharma Begins 2020 By Raising Prices on Hundreds of Drugs

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Axios reports that as of Friday, major pharmaceutical companies raised prices on over 440 drugs with an average price hike of 5 percent. Additional price increases are expected thought January.

Through their use of manipulative tactics like evergreening and patent thicketing, Big Pharma has been able to extend their drug monopolies and prevent competitive drug and treatment alternatives that would lead to more affordable prices for American consumers.

Among the companies with the largest price increase was AbbVie. According to Axios’ reporting, AbbVie raised the price of its drug Humira by 7.4 percent. While Humira’s prices are falling worldwide, they continue to rise here in the United States.

AbbVie’s Humira has long been the poster child for how Big Pharma abuses the patent system to keep drug prices high.

In 2020, Congress has an opportunity to reform that patent system and lower prescription drug prices in a bipartisan manner. CAPA is hopeful that this year, Congress will finally end Big Pharma’s abuse of the patent system.

Below is a link and full text of the article:

Vitals—1 Big Thing: Pharma Hikes Prices For Hundreds Of Drugs
Axios, January 6, 2020

Pharmaceutical companies began 2020 the same way they begin every year: with price hikes on hundreds of drugs.

Between the lines: The price increases are salt in the wound following Congress’ failure to pass meaningful drug price legislation in 2019, and are already being used to make the political case for action this year.

By the numbers: As of Friday, drug companies had increased the prices of 445 products by a median of 5%, according to an analysis by 3 Axis Advisors. More hikes are expected throughout January.

Pfizer increased the prices of 58 drugs, the most of any company by far. Novartis, Allergan and GlaxoSmithKline each had counts in the twenties.

Some notable increases, per Axios’ Bob Herman:

  • AbbVie: 7.4% on Humira, the world’s top-selling drug that is facing major competition and lower prices everywhere — except the U.S.
  • Biogen: 6% on Tecfidera, a multiple sclerosis drug that is facing a major patent lawsuit.
  • Gilead: 4.8% on a host of medicines, including its main HIV drugs (Truvada, Descovy and Biktarvy).=
  • Purdue Pharma: 5% on its OxyContin painkiller, all while the company sits in bankruptcy court and the Sackler owners dangle billions in public settlement funds.

Yes, but: List prices don’t reflect discounts and rebates, which reduce net prices. List prices do, however, affect people who have high deductibles or are uninsured.

The bottom line: Congress these days is much better at doing nothing than passing legislation, and its inertia is only going to be made worse by the November election. Until something changes, expect increases to happen again.

For more information, please visit www.capanow.org

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