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Pfizer, Sanofi and others set to increase US drug prices in 2021

Pressure from COVID-19 restrictions leads to drug price increases

A number of pharmaceutical companies in the US, including Pfizer, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), are set to increase prices on over 300 drugs for 2021, according to a report from Reuters.

Data analysed by 3 Axis Advisors, a healthcare research consultancy company, found that the drug price increases have been kept at 10% or lower for 2021.

Pfizer and Sanofi are planning to keep almost all of their increase at 5% or lower, 3 Axis added, with GSK also increasing their prices of two vaccines, Shingrix and Pediarix, by 7% and 8.6% respectively.

Pfizer, in particular, aims to raise prices on over 60 drugs by between 0.5% and 5%, with an approximate 5% increase on some blockbuster treatments including Xeljanz (tofacitinib) and cancer drugs Ibrance (palbociclib) and Inlyta (axitinib).

The drug price increases come as companies continue to feel the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on their businesses, with the pandemic decreasing demand for certain treatments as restrictions continue to be implemented across the globe.

Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals has also raised the prices on 15 drugs, including rare neurological disorders drug Austedo (deutetrabenazine), asthma steroid Qvar (beclometasone) and more.

Soaring drug prices had been a key issue for the Trump administration, with the outgoing US president issuing several executive orders in late 2020 aimed at lowering prices.

It is likely that some of these orders could be curbed by legal challenges, after a federal judge blocked a ruling aimed at lowering drug prices that was set to take effect this month.

Drug pricing will also be a focus of the incoming President-elect, Joe Biden, who has promised to reduce drug prices in the US.

One key tenet of Biden’s drug pricing pledge is to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly with pharma companies.

In addition, a bipartisan bill was introduced last year by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, which proposes penalising pharma companies for any price increases that are higher than the rate of inflation.

Despite the ongoing debate around drug pricing in the US Congress, it is expected that further drug price increases are to be announced in early January as the pandemic continues to hit companies in 2021.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

4th January 2021

From: Sales

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