Major pharmaceutical firms started the new year by hiking the prices of hundreds of drugs, according to a new study published by Rx Savings Solutions.
First reported in The Wall Street Journal, the study found that the average price increase taken by more than three dozen companies was roughly 6.3%.
Allergan (NYSE:AGN) topped the list, raising the price of 27 products by 9.5% – just under the 10% cap that it pledged last year. Another 24 drugs from Allergan experienced a 4.9% price increase.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) also raised the price of its products, including its cancer drugs Opdivo and Yervoy by 1.5%.
Biogen (NSDQ:BIIB) increased the price of its multiple sclerosis drugs, while Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) upped the cost of two of its products.
Drug prices will likely remain a topic of scrutiny by politicians in 2019. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was set to raise drug prices last July until President Donald Trump called them out Twitter.
“Pfizer and others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” the president wrote.
The company ultimately decided to defer raising prices on any of its drugs. The CEO of Rx Savings Solutions, Michael Rea, told the WSJ that the lack of oversight is part of what makes drug pricing in the U.S. so unpredictable.
“The reason it can keep happening is there is no market check, no person or entity to bring reason to determining drug prices,” he said.
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