Pharma industry to hike prices on over 350 drugs in US

Farma Darya

Increases in January 2023 are expected to come as American pharmaceutical firms prepare for Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.

More drug prices are likely to be announced over the course of January — historically the biggest month for drugmakers to raise prices.
More drug prices are likely to be announced over the course of January — historically the biggest month for drugmakers to raise prices.
(Reuters Archive)

Drugmakers including Pfizer
Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca PLC and Sanofi SA plan to
raise prices in the United States on more than 350 unique drugs
in early January, according to data analysed by healthcare
research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

The increases are expected to come as the pharmaceutical
industry prepares for the Biden Administration’s Inflation
Reduction Act (IRA), which allows the government’s Medicare
health programme to negotiate prices directly for some drugs
starting in 2026.

The industry is also contending with inflation
and supply chain constraints that have led to higher
manufacturing costs.

The increases are on list prices, which do not include
rebates to pharmacy benefit managers and other discounts.

In 2022, drugmakers raised prices on more than 1,400 drugs according to data published by 46brooklyn, a drug pricing
non-profit that is related to 3 Axis.

That is the most increase since 2015.

The median drug price increase was 4.9 percent last year, while the
average increase was 6.4 percent, according to 46brooklyn.

Both figures
are lower than the inflation rates in the United States.

Driving factors in price hikes

To date, Pfizer announced the most increases, with prices
rising on 89 unique drug brands and an additional increase on
10 drug brands at its Hospira arm.

That was followed by GSK, with planned increases so far
on 26 unique drugs, including nearly a 7 percent increase on its
popular shingles vaccine Shingrix.

Notable increases expected include 9 percent price hikes on
Bristol Myers Squibb’s personalised CAR-T cell therapies
Abecma and Breyanzi, both of which were already more than
$400,000 for the blood cancer treatments.

A company spokesperson said there were several driving
factors in increasing the list price of the two CAR-T cell
therapies, including the rate of inflation, the value of the
therapies, and the personalised nature of the CAR-T
manufacturing process.

Increases for Pfizer include a 6 percent rise on the cost of
Xeljanz, a treatment for autoimmune diseases including
rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, and 7.9 percent increases
on cancer drugs Ibrance and Xalkori.

A Pfizer spokesperson said in an email that the
company’s average list prices for drugs and vaccines in 2023 are
well below overall inflation at approximately 3.6 percent, noting that
the increases are needed to support investments in drug

AstraZeneca is set to raise prices in the 3 percent range on
blood cancer treatment Calquence, non-small cell lung cancer
drug Tagrisso and asthma treatment Fasenra.

“AstraZeneca has always taken a thoughtful approach to
pricing, and we continue to do so, considering many factors,”
said company spokesman Brendan McEvoy.

Sanofi plans to raise prices on 14 of its drugs or vaccines.

A Sanofi spokesperson said the drugmaker’s 2023 pricing actions are consistent with its approach to responsible pricing, adherence to government policies, and the need to respond to evolving trends in the marketplace.

Source: Reuters

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