David Mitchell, a cancer patient with Medicare coverage and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, paid $3,183 for his first refill of Pomalyst, a blockbuster cancer drug that Celgene/Bristol-Myers Squibb increased by more than $1,000 per month in January.
“These companies can’t break their addiction to taking the maximum price increases they think they can get away with,” said Mitchell. “Hundreds of price hikes make it clear why drug pricing reform is so sorely needed in America. Congress and the president will have another chance in 2020 to do right by patients and keep their promises by passing bills that stop price gouging.”
Today’s report, based on data from AnalySource, highlighted seven key drugs that increased in price. The snapshots demonstrate that:
- Drugmakers continued historical patterns of price hikes. Gilead raised the price of the HIV drug Truvada for the 16th time since 2005 and Pfizer raised the price of Lyrica for the 14th consecutive year.
- Medicare and Medicaid are getting ripped off. The antipsychotic drugLatuda costs Medicare and Medicaid $2.4 billion annually — it increased by nearly 5% to start the year. Imbruvica, a cancer drug, costs taxpayers almost $2 billion per year and increased by 7.4% in January. Revlimid is the second most expensive drug on Medicare — it jumped in price by $907 per month in January.
- The majority of drugs with price increases face no competition. AbbVie’s January price hike on Humira brings the blockbuster drug’s total price increase to 341% since market entry in 2006. Pfizer’s Lyrica has increased 396% since 2005. Both companies have abused the regulatory system to avoid generic competition. The multiple sclerosis drug Tecfiderafaces no competition in the U.S., and Biogen increased the price again in January to $8,275 for a month’s supply.
View the full data set here. Take a closer look at seven spotlighted drugs: Humira, Imbruvica, Latuda, Lyrica, Revlimid, Tecfidera, and Truvada.