Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019

You are here

Biologics Lead the Way in Drug Price Increases

Reuters has reported the results of a recent Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) analysis showing that biologics, especially Humira and Rituxan, are leading the way in the cost of drugs in the USA.

All told, Humira and Rituxan topped a list of seven treatments whose combined 2017 and 2018 price hikes accounted for a $5.1 billion increase in U.S. drug spending. ICER said their analysis points to price hikes that were more than twice the rate of medical inflation and were not warranted by any new clinical evidence.

Also cited were other new drugs including, Lyrica, Truvada, Neulasta, Cialis and Tecfidera. 

Drugmakers have been under increasing political scrutiny to lower costs to consumers and have responded by limiting annual list price hikes to under 10% in many cases. 

ICER acknowledged it was difficult to determine the actual increase in spending on the drugs, but said it was confident that the seven drugs cost a lot more.

Humira’s net price increase over 2017 and 2018 added $1.8 billion in spending, while Rituxan added $806 million, the report indicated.

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Rheumatologists' Comments

An ignominious rapacious pharma tactic

More Like This

New EMA Warnings for Tofacitinib in Patients at Risk for Clots

The European Medicines Agency safety committee (PRAC) has concluded that Xeljanz (tofacitinib - TOFA) could increase the risk of blood clots in the lungs and in deep veins in patients who are already at high risk for venous thromboembolic events. The PRAC is recommending that TOFA should be used with caution in patients at high risk of blood clots (VTE), regardless of dose used.

FDA Approves Ustekinumab for Ulcerative Colitis

Ustekinumab (Stelara) is now FDA-approved to treat moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis, said drugmaker Janssen on Monday, in addition to its indications for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn's disease.

Interleukin Targeted Biologics Increase Risks of Infection

A systematic review of the literature shows that, compared to placebo, the use of non-TNF, interleukin inhibitor biologics may be associated with significantly higher rates of serious infections, opportunistic infections, and cancer.

Ustekinumab Efficacy in Ulcerative Colitis

The NEJM reports the results of a one year trial wherein ustekinumab (UST) was shown to be effective at inducing and maintaining remission in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. Ustekinumab, currently approved for use in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn's disease, is a monoclonal antibody against the p40 subunit of interleukin-12 and interleukin-23.

FDA Approves Rituximab for Children with GPA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Rituxan (rituximab) for the treatment of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) in children 2 years of age and older in combination with glucocorticoids. This is the first approved treatment for children with vasculitis.