According to an analysis by RX Savings Solutions, a company that helps companies and insurers choose the cheapest drugs, the cost of hundreds of pharmaceuticals manufactured by leading drug companies has increased by an average of 6.3%.
Most of the increases, which affect the current price of the drug, are modest, while others, including some generics, are significantly higher this year. the Wall Street newspaper reported.
The catalog prices are set by the manufacturers and do not include discounts, rebates or insurance payments. Generics are a cheaper alternative to branded pharmaceuticals and account for about 90% of prescriptions filled in the United States.
Allergan has increased the prices of 51 drugs, more than half of its products, confirmed the company in a statement published on the Wall Street Journal. The company manufactures commonly prescribed medications, including Namenda, a medicine for Alzheimer's disease, and a dry eye treatment called Restasis.
Twenty-seven Allergan products grew about 9.5% and two dozen 4.9%.
Allergan recorded the largest increase in revenue among all companies analyzed by RX Savings Solutions.
The generic drug manufacturer, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, has increased the cost of morphine by 10%, enalaprilat for the treatment of high blood pressure by 30% and anesthetic ketamine by 20%.
A spokesman for Hikma told the Journal that the cost increases for the three drugs are relatively low and reach less than $ 1 per vial, adding that some of the company's drugs have seen a drop in cost.
"These are small increases that allow us to continue to operate a sustainable business that meets the needs of hospitals, physicians and patients for high quality drugs," said spokesman Steve Weiss.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC confirmed to the newspaper that it had increased the prices of 36 drugs. None of them was greater than 3%.
The company told the magazine's commitment to providing differentiated and needed medicines, as well as their price, based on the value they bring to patients, while being sensitive to the market and the expectations of the society".
Why are prices steadily rising?
Michael Rea, CEO of RX Savings Solutions, believes that the continued rise in the cost of drugs is due to lack of market accountability.
"The reason why this can continue to happen is that there is no verification of the market, nor of any person or entity able to motivate the determination of the price of drugs", Rea told the Journal.
The costs of prescription drugs should be one of the main problems of Democrats when they take control of the House of Representatives this week.
Drug manufacturers have come under pressure from the Trump administration, as well as patients and insurers, as price increases have outpaced inflation.
The Trump administration recently proposed the idea of including the current price of a drug in television advertising as a way of establishing cost transparency, FiercePharma reported.
Many companies have agreed that price transparency could be beneficial, but they also agreed that using the regular price of a drug could be more confusing than helping consumers.
Current prices are often much higher than the costs paid by consumers.