SUMMARY: One area where Republicans and Democrats agree is that drug pricing is out of control. Retail price increases for widely used brand name prescription drugs consistently exceeded the rate of general inflation between 2006 and 2020. In 2020, retail prices for 260 brand-name prescription drugs widely used by older adults increased by an average of 2.9 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 1.3 percent over the same period. The US Federal Trade Commission is taking a more aggressive antitrust approach as eight US antitrust bills targeting the pharmaceutical industry have been recently introduced.

The perfect storm is coming for pharma

SUMMARY: Prescription drugs in the United States rank as the most expensive by a long shot, a report published this week has found, with the average cost of medications in the US exceeding the global median price by some 300 percent. Between 2012 and 2016 alone, the price of insulin nearly doubled, forcing many Americans to search for other routes to access it. But a trip to the hospital can force you into bankruptcy.

Americans pay too much for prescription drugs but….

  • The cost of insulin more than tripled — from $231 to $736 a year per patient — between 2002 and 2013.
  • A new marijuana-based epilepsy treatment is going to cost $32,500 a year.
  • “The goal is to keep the price of the drug on par with other epilepsy medications”.
  • PBM’s are driving hard bargains with the manufacturer and they are increasingly finding ways to expand their profitability at the expense of employers and patients.

8532826-a-prescription-pill-bottle-with-rolls-of-cash-in-it--concept-or-metaphor-for-cost-of-drugsPOST SUMMARY:Via the WSJ: The first of a promising new class of cancer drugs went on sale in Japan this week at an average annual cost of $143,000 a patient, a harbinger of hefty prices the new drugs are expected to command in the U.S. and Europe in coming months.  Bristol-Myers, which plans to market nivolumab in the U.S. if the FDA clears it for sale, declined to say how much it will charge. A spokeswoman said the company prices its medicines based on “the value they deliver to patients and society, the scientific innovation they represent and the investment required to support” drug research-and-development.