Drug Makers Keep Promises to Limit Price Increases to 10% — But Barely

Four companies officially pledged to limit their price increases: AbbVie, Allergan, Novo Nordisk, and Valeant according to the non-profit organization Public Citizen. These pledges have put pressure on other manufacturers to also keep price increases below 10%, even if they have not made official promises, leading to a de-facto industry ceiling—one they are constantly bumping up against, it turns out.

Since January 31, 2018, a total of 287 brand-name drugs saw large price increases. Of those, 88 brand-name drugs (31%) saw increases between 9% and 10%, While companies have largely kept price increases to be below 10%, they continue to hit the ceiling and increase drug prices by as much 9.9% yearly. These prices represent the list price, the official price that is set by the manufacturer.

Of the manufacturers increasing the price of their brand drug, Alfasigma, Akorn, Teva, and Pfizer have the largest number of drugs that saw an increase between 9% and 10% since January 2018. Specialty biomedical company Alfasigma increased prenatal vitamin Neevo DHA, and medical foods Metanx and Deplin by 9.9%. Akorn Pharmaceuticals, known for their large generic market, increased the price for nearly 10 of their brand name drugs by exactly 9.9%. Bronchodilator Xopenex and antibiotic Azasite are two of the drugs included in this price hike. Teva Women’s Health increased the price by 9.4% for multiple women’s health drugs like Seasonique, Mircette and Quartette among others.

Well-known manufacturer Pfizer increased prices for 32 of their popular drugs this year. Viagra, Celebrex, Xanax and Revatio saw price increases of 9.4% since January, but these increases have been rolled back after harsh criticism from The White House. These rollbacks went into effect on July 16th, and Pfizer CEO Ian Read has since met with president Trump and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to discuss drug prices.

More information about the prices of these and other drugs can be found on the website of our partners: apothekegenerika.de

While none of these manufacturers officially pledged to keep prices under 10%, it’s clear that there is pressure on all manufacturers to limit price increases, and continue to stay under the radar and out of the public eye.

In addition to 9.9% increases, multiple drugs increased by as much as 20% since 2018. Already expensive chemotherapy drug Gleostine saw the largest price hike this year when NextSource Biotechnology increased prices by 20%. Other drugs that saw increases well over 10% include Sonoma Pharmaceutical’s Acuicyn (+19.98%), Acella Pharmaceuticals’ Prenaissance (+19.13%), and Avanir Pharmaceuticals’ Onzetra (+15.12%).

While these price hikes pale in comparison to the 5000% increase that Martin Shkreli’s Daraprim saw in 2015, 10% is well above the typical 2% yearly price inflation. If we continue to see yearly increases of around 10%, drug prices will surely double in just 7 years. While the price hike pledge may appease some, the question still remains, is 10% still too much?

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