Drug Prices Soar for Top-Selling Brands
Prices for brand-name drugs for diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and arthritis are soaring, a survey for Bloomberg News by data provider DRX found. The analysis of big-selling drugs found that price increases in the United States have far outpaced inflation since late 2007 for many drug categories. Here are 74drug brands whose U.S. prices for at least one dosage increased 75 percent or more in the period.
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DRX, formerly known as DestinationRx, analyzed historical prices of drug brands with more than $350 million in 2013 U.S. gross sales, according to Bloomberg Industries data. The gross sales figures, which don't include discounts, may be higher than company-reported net sales. The analysis also included drugs on the IMS Health list of top selling drugs in the United States in 2012, in cases where 2013 U.S. sales were not available. The survey did not capture all drugs. The list includes some drugs that recently lost patent protection.
The DRX survey examined average wholesale prices in the United States from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2014. Prices were examined separately for each dosage form of a drug. Drugs were included in the graphic if at least one dosage of the drug had a 75 percent increase or more during the period. In some cases, price increases were less for other dosages.
Average wholesale price is a benchmark that is roughly equivalent to a cash price a person without insurance might pay at a pharmacy, said Jim Yocum of DRX. Most consumers pay lower prices. Large health plans typically negotiate prices that are 15 percent to 20 percent less than the average wholesale price, Yocum said.
Published May 1, 2014
GRAPHIC: EKENE IJEOMA / BLOOMBERG VISUAL DATA