Prices of popular brand-name drugs increased at nearly ten times the cost of inflation

Prices increased for every brand-name drug of the top 20 most-prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors in the last five years. On average, prices for these drugs increased 12 percent every year for the last five years—approximately ten times higher than the average annual rate of inflation.  Twelve out of the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors had their prices increased by over 50 percent in the five-year period. Six of the 20 had price increases of over 100 percent. In one case, the weighted average wholesale acquisition cost for a single drug increased by 477 percent over a five-year period.  Continue reading

American’s show no desire to help reduce health care costs

KEY TAKEAWAY: New data shows that nearly 40 percent of Americans were obese in 2015 and 2016, a sharp increase from a decade earlier, federal health officials reported Friday.  The prevalence of severe obesity in American adults is also rising, heightening their risks of developing heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. According to the latest data, published Friday in JAMA, 7.7 percent of American adults were severely obese in the same period. Continue reading

Big Pharma handed a rare loss

KEY TAKEAWAY: Big Pharma was handed a rare loss as Congressional leaders moved to pass the $1.3 trillion omnibus budget.  Lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry have been camped out on Capitol Hill this past month working legislators to change new policies tied to payment obligations attached to Medicare Part D, the so-called Donut Hole. The changes call for the financial liability covered by insurance carriers for prescription drugs not covered by Medicare to shrink, while that obligation rises for pharmaceutical companies. For drug makers, their share of discount rises from 50% to 70%. Lobbyists had been trying to push those numbers down to 60%. Continue reading