- At the start and halfway points of each year, many pharmaceutical companies raise drug prices to bolster revenue and reportedly fund new research.
- A new STAT analysis of mid-year price hikes has found that, despite these new requirements, drug prices are on the rise. Indeed, on July 1, drugmakers raised the wholesale price on over 123 drugs in what’s the largest number of mid-year price hikes since 2013.
- The median price increase for these drugs was 3.4%, just above the one-year inflation rate of 3.2%. So, over half of these medications could potentially face rebates, including 10 Pfizer drugs whose prices increased by 10%, such as long-acting penicillin Bicillin and blood thinner Fragmin.
Chutzpah. It’s the only way to describe Merck’s plan to sue the government over the plan to negotiate drug prices, saying it is unconstitutional. Merck said in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that Medicare’s drug-price negotiation program violated the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. This is a prime example of what’s wrong with pharma.
SUMMARY: With much attention on the public’s view on Medicare drug price negotiations, the latest KFF Tracking Poll finds large majorities support allowing the federal government to negotiate, and this support holds steady even after the public is provided the arguments being presented by parties on both sides of the legislative debate (83% total, 95% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 71% of Republicans).
SUMMARY: Pfizer will earn over 26 billion dollars from their COVID vaccine, while Moderna and J&J also look to their vaccines for more profit dollars. The suggestion by Pfizer’s CEO that drug pricing negotiations with the government would slow innovation is PR doubletalk.
- DTC marketing is not the reason why prescription drugs cost so much.
- DTC ads raise awareness around health conditions.
- DTC ads do NOT lead to unnecessary Rxs.
- The FDA needs to study what people do when they see a DTC ad.
- The February 2019 KFF Health Tracking Poll finds a majority of adults, including seniors, are in favor of many policy options aimed at curbing prescription drug costs.
- There is majority support – across party identification – for many current policy proposals like international reference pricing and transparency in drug advertisements.
- Both of these policy proposals are supported by large majorities of Democrats and independents, and a majority of Republicans.
- There is also bipartisan support for allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price for people with Medicare, which covers 60 million Americans.
IN SUMMARY: Novartis will price its new Mayzent multiple sclerosis drug at 88,000 dollars per year which is more proof that pharma companies could care less about the heated debate around drug pricing.
- Lilly says the net price for its Humalog insulin—the price after discounts and rebates—fell to an average of $135 a patient a month in 2018, from $147 in 2014. During the same period, the product’s average list price rose 51.9% to $594 per patient monthly.
- Lilly hasn’t raised the U.S. list price for Humalog since May 2017. U.S. sales of the drug rose 4% to $1.79 billion in 2018, which Lilly said was primarily driven by demand.
- Dug middlemen continue to take a huge chunk of prescription drug profits.