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GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi among drugmakers planning price hikes in US

Pricing pressures increase amid intense political scrutiny

US dollar sign pills

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Sanofi, among others, have planned to increase the prices of over 200 drugs in the US, according to a report from Reuters.

The planned drug hikes were revealed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors, which analysed data from the a number of pharma companies.

According to 3 Axis co-founder Eric Pachman, the median price increase of these drugs are set to be around 5%, with around half of them in the 4% to 6% range.

The price increases come amid intense public and political discourse over prescription drug prices in the US.

Soaring drug prices have been a key issue for the Trump administration and the opposition Democratic party, and is expected to be a central focus of the upcoming presidential election campaign this year.

Among those planning drug increases is Pfizer, which has planned price hikes of over 50 of its drugs. This includes its CDK 4/6 inhibitor Ibrance (palbociclib), which grew by 27% to $1.3bn in the last quarter, and its fast-growing oral JAK inhibitor Xeljanz (tofacitinib).

GSK will also increase prices on around 30 of its drugs, including its Ellipta inhaler, its cancer drug Zejula (niraparib) and HIV products from its ViiV division. Sanofi also said it plans to raise the costs of around ten of its products, with increases of between 1% and 5%.

In July, the Trump administration unveiled plans to allow the reimportation of certain drugs from Canada, which the President advanced in December. The draft guidance would allow states in the US to import prescription drugs from Canada, as part of cost-saving efforts to combat increasing drug prices in the country.

The Democrats have also launched their own plans to tackle high drug prices, having recently passed a bill through the Senate which targeted 250 high-cost drugs that would be subject to cost-cutting negotiation with Medicare.

The pharma industry responded with harsh criticism to both plans, with experts sceptical of the pharma industry’s willingness to sell more drugs to Canada so that the US can import them at cheaper prices.

Industry body PhRMA also hit back at the Democrat’s pricing plan, saying in a statement that it “would end the current market-based system that has made the US the global leader in developing innovative, life-saving treatments and cures”.

Although the most recent drug price increases have drawn criticism, they are lower than historical price hikes, with many drugmakers sticking to the cap of 10% drug price increases – perhaps largely due to pricing pressure from politicians and the public.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

3rd January 2020

From: Sales

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