Drug makers Raise Prices
Pharmaceutical companies are ringing in the new year by raising the price of hundreds of drugs, with Allergan PLC setting the pace with increases of nearly 10% on more than two dozen products, according to a new analysis.
Many companies’ increases are relatively modest this year, amid growing public and political pressure on the industry over prices. Yet a few are particularly high, including on some generics, the cheaper alternative to branded accounting for nine out of 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S. Overall, price increases, including recently restored price increases from Pfizer Inc., continue to exceed inflation.
More than three dozen drug makers raised the prices on hundreds of medicines in the U.S. on Tuesday, according to an analysis from Rx Savings Solutions, which sells software to help employers and health plans choose the least-expensive medicines. The average increase was 6.3%, according to the analysis, including increases on different doses for the same drug.
Allergan confirmed the increases cited in the analysis, saying it raised the price of 51 products—27 by about 9.5% and another 24 by about 4.9%. The increases covered more than half of its portfolio, from an extended-release version of its Alzheimer’s drug Namenda to dry-eye treatment Restasis. Of the companies analyzed, Allergan had the most increases of more than 9%.
Chief Executive Brent Saunders had announced in 2016 that Allergan would limit itself to one price rise a year on its medicines and keep those increases under 10% as part of a “social contract” with patients. Allergan said Tuesday that it is “committed to responsible pricing principles” outlined in that pledge. Allergan applied price increases just below 10% on some of its products also at the start of 2017 and 2018.