New Year Brings More Price Hikes From Big Pharma

posted by AHIP

on January 12, 2021

Everyone should be able to get the medications they need at a price they can afford. But drug prices are out of control, and hardworking families are facing the consequences every day. Big Pharma is treating the new year the same as it did 2020: hiking the price of hundreds of drugs as Americans continue to face the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

Drug manufacturers have already raised the price of at least 582 brand-name drugs this year, with an average increase of 4%. Pfizer, for example, increased the prices of more than 130 drugs, including Xeljanz, a popular treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. GlaxoSmithKline raised prices on more than 30 drugs, including Zejula, a cancer treatment, while Sanofi raised prices on more than a dozen drugs.

“Americans are being hurt by out-of-control drug prices, which are set and fully controlled by Big Pharma alone. The incoming Biden-Harris administration should focus on bipartisan, workable solutions to protect patients, taxpayers, and all Americans from higher drug prices, especially in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles said.

The latest round of price hikes continues a long-standing pattern from Big Pharma, according to Good Rx. Big Pharma increased prices for 639 drugs in January 2020, and for 486 drugs in January 2019, according to a new update. Prices were also increased for over 65 drugs last summer—during a pandemic, which hardworking American families are struggling most.

For far too long, too many hardworking Americans have to choose between paying their bills and accessing life-saving medicines. The problem is ultimately the price which drug makers alone set—and they alone could reduce them.

Nobody—aside from pharmaceutical companies–benefits from out-of-control drug prices, and that is why health insurance providers work hard on behalf of patients and consumers to negotiate lower prices. But when pharmaceutical companies keep raising their prices year after year—even multiple times a year—negotiations can only do so much good.

Health insurance providers are Americans’ bargaining power, negotiating for lower drug prices for them. That’s why Big Pharma attacks health insurance providers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) as middlemen. We aren’t middlemen. We’re fighting for lower prices. And we’ll continue to use our bargaining power to negotiate savings for millions of patients every day.