US Drug Prices Jump Up

Credit: Elise Amendola/AP

Several big American pharmaceutical companies just increased the costs of over 200 drugs.

Wednesday is expected to see prices from drug makers including Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline go up. The planned price hikes are almost all expected to be less than 10%. According to data released by the drug makers and research firm 3 Axis Advisers, about half of the hikes will be 4%-6%, with a median price hike of 5%.

Of the over 200 drugs that will be subjected to price hikes, about 43% are expected to be sterile, injectable drugs. The scope of the price hikes is also quite diverse and includes popular treatments for diseases including cancer, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, and several respiratory problems. The largest number of drug price hikes is expected from Pfizer, which is hiking prices on over 50 drugs.

The announcement on the next drugs to be subjected to price hikes is expected later this week. The announcement may change the current available information as many new drugs are added to the list.

Drug price hikes are a controversial issue in the US and they are expected to play a larger part in the 2020 presidential elections. At the moment, many of the companies hiking their prices are acting on a pledge they made to keep annual price hikes below 10%. Patients and politicians have long pushed US drug companies to minimize price hikes and keep prescription drugs affordable for patients.

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