New Higher Rates on 100 Drugs

July 12, 2018

Your regular visit to the pharmacy might be more expensive this month. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer raised prices on 100 drugs the first week of July. This is the second round of increases this year.

The Hill reports that among the drugs with new higher prices are Viagra, the erectile dysfunction drug, and Norvasc blood pressure pills. The Financial Times first reported the news, and information has spread from there.

“Overall, many of the drugs’ prices have increased by double-digit percentages this year,” The Hill reports.

This comes on the heels of a recent statement from the Trump administration that big drug companies would soon be voluntarily lowering their prices.

“I think we’re going to have some of the big drug companies, in two weeks, they're going to announce, because of what we did, they’re going to announce voluntary massive drops in prices,” Trump said in May.

The Hill reports that, despite the administration’s claims, companies have not yet announced any voluntary cuts. “Trump administration officials have declined to provide further information on what Trump’s remarks meant,” The Hill shares.

“Pfizer said in a statement that the company decreased the prices for some of its drugs, and kept prices the same for the majority of products. The Financial Times found five products with decreased prices in this week’s listings,” The Hill continued.

“The products with higher prices listed this week are some of the company’s best-selling, according to Ars Technica, including Lyrica painkillers, anti-smoking drug Chantix and a lung cancer medication. Most of the raises were under 10 percent increases in this round alone.”

Becker’s Hospital Review offers details into the pricing:

“While the drug maker upped the price of some of its drugs by 20 percent, the average price hike for the 100 drugs and treatments is about 9 percent. The increases are well above the rate of inflation, which is 2 percent.

Pfizer has increased the price of some of its well-known drugs, including its erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra. The cost of a 100 mg pill early this year was $73.85; it now costs consumers $88.45, a price hike of nearly 20 percent.

Pfizer's Xalatan eyedrops that treat glaucoma now has a price tag of $107.05, compared to $89.38 at the beginning of 2018.”

They also note that the pharmaceutical giant generated $52.8 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2018.

In positive news, Ars Technica reports that Pfizer’s rivals pledged to raise prices just once a year and generally keep the hikes to under 10 percent. 

For more on this topic, visit The Hill, Ars Technica, and Becker’s Hospital Review to read their complete stories.


Action Needed

Tell your representative to say "no" to higher drug costs

We’ve told you about big Pharma’s brazen attempt to gut the last remaining protection for patients against runaway drug prices.

Now the most profitable industry in the world is quietly pushing a bill through the state legislature that would cripple pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which negotiate lower drug costs for North Carolinians.

We cannot let big pharma use the law to eliminate our only advocate in price negotiations.

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