New Year Means New (Higher) Prices on Prescription Drugs

More than 250 medications impacted by hikes

The nation’s largest drugmakers kicked off 2019 with price increases in the United States.

More than 250 prescription drugs were impacted. Humira, the world’s top-selling medicine, headlined the list. But perhaps most surprising was the fact that despite the increases, the pace of price hikes was slower than last year.

President Donald Trump has pressured leading companies to keep their prices level through the year, and the slower rate of price hikes indicates President Trump’s message may have taken hold. His administration has been vocal about their attempts to keep prices affordable for consumers amongst the world’s most lucrative pharmaceutical market.

Data from Rx Savings Solutions indicated that last year more than 400 prescription drugs saw their prices increase at the start of 2018, making this year’s decrease statistically significant.

Among specific manufacturers, Allergan PLC and AbbVie were particularly aggressive in their price hikes, with Allergan raising prices on more than 50 drugs—more than half of them increasing by more than 10 percent.

Market competition dictates price changes in the U.S., unlike many countries where governments exert partial or total control over marketing. Despite the success in moderation increase at the start of 2019, experts expect to see more increases announced through January.


Rob Senior

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