Drug makers are launching new medicines at sky-high prices in 2022, new analyses have found, highlighting their pricing power even as Congress moves to slash the $500-billion-plus annual bill for prescription drugs.
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers are also disclosing less information about how they are pricing treatments. This has come under masses of scrutiny over the past few years.
Drug manufacturers in the U.S. are allowed to freely set their prices for all brand-name drugs, meaning pharmaceutical companies feel free to price drugs at staggering prices.
The median annual price of 13 new drugs approved for chronic conditions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so far this year is a shocking $257,000. These drugs were in the company of many others. There are seven other newly-launched drugs priced at about a staggering $200,000.
Last year the average annual price rose to $180,000 for the 30 drugs first marketed through mid-July 2021. It shows the directions that new drug prices are going in, and it continues to be on the massive rise.
Big Pharma is frequently under wide criticism. The pharma industry said prices for new drugs, many of which now treat rare diseases for which there are no therapies or other options, reflect their “value” to patients.
But critics of the industry say it shows Big Pharma is guilty of making people pay vast amounts especially when they are in uncompromising positions.
Drug price information has only become harder to confirm as well.
This comes as Congress last week passed the landmark $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a cap on annual drug price increases and allows the Medicare health program for seniors to negotiate prices for up to 20 of the drugs it spends on the most.
The bill does not, however, limit what drug makers can charge for new drugs.
Some fear that this means Pharma will be even more reliant on higher launch prices, and will turn to new drugs to use the lever that remains uncontrolled.