Prices Skyrocket for Drugs Used to Treat Some of the Most Prevalent Health Conditions Facing Americans

Prices Skyrocket for Drugs Used to Treat
Some of the Most Prevalent Health Conditions
Facing Americans

Chronic health conditions are among the most common – and costly – ailments to treat and the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs are making those costs go even higher.

According to data released this week, among 40 million of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s commercially insured members, five conditions cause nearly a third of this population’s reduction in health. They are: (1) depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, (2) hypertension, (3) diabetes, (4) high cholesterol and (5) substance abuse.

And new data available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), show that the cost of many of the medication used to treat these conditions increased more than 100 percent between 2014 and 2015 alone. For other medications, costs increased more than 100 percent between 2007 and 2014.

“Millions of Americans rely on prescription drugs to get and stay healthy. The challenges of dealing with a health condition are only made worse when pharmaceutical companies take advantage of patients and raising prices where they see an increased market opportunity,” said CSRxP Executive Director John Rother. “Rising prescription drug prices create a double whammy by adding financial stress to an already stressful health situation.”

Examples of the rising prescription drug prices for these conditions include: 

Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mood Disorders

  • Ativan | Yearly increase in price from 2014-2015 – 1264%*
  • Chlorpromazine HCl | Yearly Percent Change from 2014 – 2015 – 128%**
  • Wellbutrin Xl | Yearly Percent Change from 2014 – 2015 – 109%**
  • Enalapril Maleate | Yearly Percent Change from 2014 – 2015 – 104%**

Hypertension

  • Propranolol HCl | Yearly Percent Change from 2014 – 2015 – 154%**
  • Benicar | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 164%^
  • Diovan | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 137%^
  • Benicar HCT | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 132%^

Diabetes

  • Glumetza | Yearly Percent Change from 2014 – 2015 – 381%**
  • Humulin R U-500 | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 500%^
  • Lantus INJ | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 160%^
  • Levemir INJ | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 154%^
  • Byetta | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 126%^
  • Novolog MIX 70/30 | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 119%^

High Cholesterol

  • Zetia | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 121%^
  • Vytorin | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 103%^
  • Crestor | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 103%^
  • Lipitor | Percent increase between 2007 and 2014 – 102%^

Sources:

*MedicaidDrug Spending Dashboard 2015
** Medicare Drug Spending Dashboard 2015
^ Bloomberg Database – Drug Prices Soar for Top-Selling Brands