KEY TAKEAWAY: So far in 2019, more than 3,400 drugs have boosted their prices, a 17% increase compared with the roughly 2,900 drug price increases at the same time in 2018, according to a new analysis by Rx Saving Solutions, a consultant to health plans and employers. The average price hike for those 3,400 drugs stands at 10.5% or about 5 times the rate of inflation, the study found.
- Pharma continues to be portrayed as the villain in pricing but there are other villains who are escaping scrutiny.
- The 5 largest conglomerates combining health insurance and pharmacy benefits are on track this year to be bigger than the 5 preeminent tech companies.
- Half of people in fair to poor health are uninsured or struggle with affordability.
- Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent to an average $19,616 this year, extending a seven-year run of moderate increases.
- While there is no excuse for the price increases on some drugs, like insulin other price increases are not aimed at consumers. They are aimed at PBM’s and insurers who are seeing their profits increase at a rapid rate.
- Americans are among the most unhealthy in the world.
- Millennials are so
overweight,it has them on pace to be part of the most obese generation in history.
- Black-box negotiation processes” between drugmakers, insurers and the middlemen who haggle behind closed doors over how much money changes hands are hidden from patients.
- Drug companies set the list price of drugs at insanely high levels solely to ensure the highest possible payment by insurers once all the haggling is complete.
- There are markups along the supply chain by wholesalers and retailers, which want as big a piece of the profits.
Prices increased for every brand-name drug of the top 20 most-prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors in the last five years. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]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. [/inlinetweet]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.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The stock price of Eli Lilly dropped suddenly on Tuesday after Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized the rising price of the company’s insulin drug Humalog on Twitter. Drug companies are going to hear a lot more about drug pricing which in turn is going to put pressure on everything pharma does.