Friday, 22 Nov 2019

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2019: the Year of Price Hikes

In 2019 there have been numerous reports of higher drug pricing for many drugs.  Yesterday it was reported that the price of insulin drugs have more than doubled from 2012 to 2016.

Reuters reports that in the United States, the pricing on more than 250 prescription drugs have gone up.

NPR reports that the rising costs of many prescription drugs can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications. The report they cite from the journal Health Affairs found that the cost of brand-name oral prescription drugs rose more than 9 percent a year from 2008 and 2016, while the annual cost of injectable drugs rose more than 15 percent.

All of this occurring under the warnings (without action) of the Trump administration and Heatlh and Human Services (HHS). 

The price of insulin, for example, doubled between 2012 and 2016, according to the Health Care Cost Institute. And the price of Lantus, an insulin made by Sanofi, rose 49 percent in 2014 alone, according to the University of Pittsburgh.

In recent meetings President Trump has said he expected to see a tremendous decrease in drug prices. 

The overall number of price increases was down by around a third from last year, when drugmakers raised prices on more than 400 medicines, according to data provided by Rx Savings Solutions, which helps health plans and employers seek lower cost prescription medicines.

And more price increases are expected this month. Reuters reported late last year that nearly 30 drugmakers had notified California agencies they plan to raise list prices of their drugs. Not all of those increases have been announced yet.

The United States, which leaves drug pricing to market competition, has higher prices than in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control the costs, making it the world’s most lucrative market for manufacturers.

HHS has proposed policy changes aimed at lowering drug prices and passing more of the discounts negotiated by health insurers on to patients. Those measures are not expected to provide relief to consumers in the short-term, however, and fall short of giving government health agencies direct authority to negotiate or regulate drug prices.

Just do a google search on the "price of drugs" - its a circus; but the patients are not enjoying this as they pay higher prices.

 

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