Under Pandemic Pressure, Drug Manufacturers Raise Prices in US: Report | Business and economic news

Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and Teva are raising the prices of some drugs by less than 10%, according to a new report.

Drugmakers, including Pfizer Inc, Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, plan to raise the prices of more than 300 drugs in the United States on January 1, according to pharmaceutical companies and data analyzed by the 3 health research firm Axis Advisors.

The increases come as pharmaceutical industry giants reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced doctor visits and demand for some drugs. They are also fighting the Trump administration’s new drug pricing rules, which would reduce the industry’s profitability.

The companies have kept their price increases at 10% or less, and the biggest drug companies to raise prices so far, Pfizer and Sanofi, have kept almost all of their increases at 5% or less, 3 Axis said. 3 Axis is a consulting firm that works with groups of pharmacists, health plans and foundations on drug pricing and supply chain issues.

GSK has increased the prices of two vaccines – the Shingrix shingles vaccine and the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine Pediarix – by 7% and 8.6%, respectively, according to 3 Axis.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc has increased the prices of 15 drugs, including Austedo, which treats rare neurological disorders, and the asthma steroid Qvar, which together generated more than $ 650 million in sales in 2019 and saw price increases between 5% and 6%. Teva has increased the prices of some drugs, including the muscle relaxant Amrix and the treatment for narcolepsy Nuvigil, by up to 9.4%.

Further price increases are expected to be announced on Friday and early January.


En 2020, les sociétés pharmaceutiques ont augmenté les prix de plus de 860 médicaments d’environ 5% en moyenne, selon 3 Axis. Les hausses de prix des médicaments ont considérablement ralenti depuis 2015, en termes de taille des hausses et du nombre de médicaments touchés.

Les augmentations surviennent alors que des sociétés pharmaceutiques comme Pfizer développent des vaccins contre le COVID-19 en un temps record. Les hausses pourraient aider à compenser la perte de revenus alors que les visites chez les médecins et les nouvelles ordonnances ont chuté pendant le verrouillage mondial.

Pfizer prévoit d’augmenter les prix de plus de 60 médicaments de 0,5 à 5%. Ceux-ci incluent des augmentations d’environ 5% sur certains de ses meilleurs vendeurs comme le traitement de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde Xeljanz et les médicaments anticancéreux Ibrance et Inlyta.

Pfizer prévoit d’augmenter les prix de plus de 60 médicaments de 0,5 à 5% [File: Mario Tama/Getty Images]

Pfizer said it has adjusted the list prices of its drugs by around 1.3% for all products in its portfolio, based on inflation.

“This modest increase is needed to support investments that allow us to continue to discover new drugs and bring these breakthroughs to patients who need them,” spokeswoman Amy Rose said in a statement, highlighting in particular the COVID-19 vaccine that the company has developed. with BioNTech SE in Germany.

He said his net prices, which do not include drug benefit manager discounts and other discounts, have actually gone down over the past 3 years.

French company Sanofi plans to increase the prices of a number of vaccines by 5% or less and will announce further price increases later in January, spokeswoman Ashleigh Koss said.

None of the company’s price increases will be greater than the expected growth rate of US healthcare spending of 5.1%, Koss said.

Political pressure

Reducing prescription drug prices in the United States – which are among the highest in the world – was one of the priorities of US President Donald Trump, after making it a core commitment of his 2016 campaign. He published several decrees at the end of 2020 aimed at reducing prices, but their effect could be limited by legal challenges and other issues.

In December, a federal judge blocked a last-minute Trump administration rule to cut drug prices that was due to be implemented in early 2021. It has been challenged by pharmaceutical industry groups including PhRMA, the country’s leading pharmaceutical trading group.

President-elect Joe Biden has also pledged to cut drug costs and allow Medicare, a U.S. government health insurance program, to negotiate drug prices. He has the backing of Congressional Democrats to pass such legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office says could cost the industry more than $ 300 billion by 2029.

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