Drug Price Hikes Expected This Month

(LibertySociety.com) – Pharmaceutical companies often impose price increases at the beginning of each year, although doing so often prompts backlash. According to a new report from Reuters, prices are set to increase for nearly 500 drugs.

The data provided by Reuters was collected by a healthcare research firm called 3 Axis Advisers. The price increase involves 140 brands of drugs, but the 500 number comes from different doses and formulations. However, three major drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, will cut prices on at least 15 different drugs in January. Despite the increases, drug pricing non-profit 46brooklyn, which is closely affiliated with 3 Axis, reported that average increases have remained stable at five percent since 2019.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 mandated a $35 out-of-pocket cap for insulin, but only for Medicare recipients. Insulin manufacturers, including Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk, plan to reduce prices for all patients after intense public pressure from the Biden administration. The companies will also benefit from the reduced prices, as they will owe less money in rebates to Medicaid if they lower their prices. According to Axios, Eli Lilly will save $430 million per year in rebate payments after the company lowers its prices. Novo Nordisk will save $350 million.

Robin Karnauskas, who is an analyst at Truist, reported that Eli Lilly plans to increase prices on Mounjaro, which has become wildly popular for weight loss. The company announced a December 30 decrease in prices on Humalog and Humulin insulin, discounting the drugs by 75.8 and 70 percent, respectively. Patients will also save money on asthma medication, anti-epileptic drugs, and medicine prescribed to treat herpes.

The company with the largest price increases for 2024 is Pfizer. Thirty brands of drugs made by the company will see a jump in prices. Six other drugs from Hospira, another brand of Pfizer, will also see increases. Baxalta came in second, with prices on 53 of its drugs set to increase. UCB Pharma will increase prices on 40 of its branded drugs.

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