July 2, 2018 Blog

Drug Corporations Ring in July with New Price Hikes

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  July brought warm weather and new price hikes for Americans already struggling under unfair list prices. Pfizer announced price increases on 100 drugs, a move that comes as Americans continue to identify rising drug costs as a top priority for Congress. But Pfizer officials weren’t alone in thinking they could get away with raising prices on July 1 — Regeneron, Acorda Therapeutics and Intercept also raised drug prices to kick off the second half of the year. 

“There is simply no justification for hiking the prices of 100 prescription drugs,” said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “The drug industry has proven time and time again that it has no ability to control itself in the never-ending quest for profits. Congress should haul Pfizer CEO Ian Read to Capitol Hill and demand answers for why patients will pay more to pad the bottom line of his drug corporation.”

Notable prescription drug price hikes announced on July 1 include:

  • Pfizer Inc. hiked the price of 100 drugs at around 9 percent, high above the rate of inflation, which is about 2 percent, according to The Financial Times.
  • The Financial Times also reports Acorda Therapeutics increased the price of its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra by 9.5 percent effective July 1, increasing a bottle of 60 tablets to $3,000. Intercept raised its liver drug Ocaliva by 7 percent to $263.48 per pill or nearly $8,000 for a pack of 30.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and its partner, Sanofi, increased the U.S. price of Dupixent, a dermatitis drug, 3 percent, from $2,846 to $2,941 per package, according to CNBC.

Drug price increases hurt patients and taxpayers. Insurance plans announcing 2019 rate hikes have cited rising prescription drug costs as one reason for higher premiums. And Medicare Part D beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket costs based on the list price of each drug they need. So every price increase means seniors, most of whom live on fixed incomes, pay more to drug companies making record profits.

“Hundreds of small hikes may not grab headlines, but they’ll be felt at the pharmacy counters by some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Wakana said.

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Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.