Big Pharma has hiked drug prices more than 1,000 times this year – research – RT World News

The US pharmaceutical industry has raised drug prices some 1,186 times this year, according to Patients for Affordable Drugs, an advocacy group that seeks to rein in the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs. The group released its analysis on Wednesday.

Despite record profits, drug companies raised prices for 133 products between June 24 and July 5 alone, the group found, noting that the median price increase for 2022 was 5%. In July alone, 64 drug companies raised prices, according to Patients for Affordable Drugs.

Companies like Pfizer, which made unprecedented profits on their Covid-19 vaccine, nevertheless continued to raise prices on other drugs. Pfizer’s leukemia drug Besponsa, for example, has seen four price increases since the start of the pandemic and now sells for $21,056 for a single vial.

Another company, Amgen, has raised its price for the autoimmune disease drug Enbrel so often since acquiring the rights to the drug in 2002 that it has even exceeded the record US inflation rate. Between this acquisition and 2020, the company increased the price of the drug 27 times until it cost $5,554.96 per month, a 457% increase over its original cost. Two other price hikes have taken place this year, despite a 2020 investigation into Amgen’s pricing habits by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, in which the drug company’s practices were strongly condemned.

Noting that Americans are still struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath of the Covid-19 depression, Patients for Affordable Drugs founder David Mitchell said the industry continues “raise drug prices without considering the health and financial well-being of Americans.” He pointed out that there was broad support for capping the cost of prescription drugs across the political spectrum and wondered why nothing had been done.

While Senate Democrats introduced a bill earlier this month that would force Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies, critics pointed out that the legislation only applied to people enrolled in the government’s Medicare program. . Given that only 18.4% of Americans were on Medicare in 2020, that leaves the lion’s share of drug consumers with no way to lower their own prescription costs.

The bill also risks incentivizing drug companies to set even higher prices for their new products, given that it does not require companies to negotiate prices until the drug has been around for at least seven years. According to an article published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, almost half of new brand name prescription drugs are launched with an annual price of $150,000 or more. The article’s writers also noted that newly launched prescription drugs cost 20% more year-over-year from 2008 to 2021.

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The United States has the most expensive health care in the world despite worse health outcomes than any other developed country. The life expectancy of Americans is lower than that of all their industrialized peers, even though their doctors are better paid than doctors in other developed countries.

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