Pfizer backed off, but the price hike game continues

Donald Trump may have convinced the US pharma giant Pfizer to defer a price increase for dozens of drugs, but there are others that have escaped such intense scrutiny according to a report.

According to story published today by Bloomberg at least ten other leading pharmaceutical companies increased the prices of approximately 20 drugs at the same time as Pfizer.

Prices changed on cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and liver disease treatments and were all in a range of less than 10%, which was identical to the Pfizer average increase. However, one of the treatments, a rarely prescribed sleeping pill was raised by more than 700%.

Bloomberg noted that Celgene raised the price of its cancer drug Revlimid by 5% bringing the price of one capsule of treatment to $695, according to data recorded by First Databank.

This means that since Trump took the president’s office the company increased the price of Revlimid by 25% in four separate increases.

Novo Nordisk also used 5% mark to increase the price of Levemir and Novolog, insulin injections widely used by diabetes patients and increased the price of Victoza by nearly 8%.

Ampyra, A multiple sclerosis drug manufactured by Acorda Therapeutics, hiked up by 9.5%, however, according to the company, it is the last price increase on this brand. Its patent expires at the end of July.

Roche boosted the price of a single-use vial of breast-cancer drug Herceptin by 3%. Avastin, another cancer drug, went up 2.5%

The biggest price increase was implemented by Aytu BioScience on its sleep aiding spray Zolpimist – its price changed from $40 a bottle to a whopping $329.

Pharma companies explain price increases with a number of factors like increased pressure to negotiate insurer’s discounts, fall of net prices and seem to be united in statement that these are the only price increases this year.

The number of price increases in the first days of this month might be a signal that Trump’s pledges and aggressive social media posts might not have a big impact on the long term pharmaceutical pricing strategies.

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