New Study Finds Brand Name Price Increases Causing Spending Growth to Far Outpace Claims
Last week, STAT News’ “Pharmalot” covered a new study that found Big Pharma’s pricing practices led to a 50 percent increase in Medicare spending on medicines used to treat neurologic conditions over a five year period — while there was only a modest eight percent increase in claims.
The study shows that from 2013-2017, Medicare spending for neurologic treatments, including for conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, climbed from $4 billion to $6 billion — while the average “spending for these drugs rose 47 percent, from $3,337 per claim to $4,902,” according to STAT.
Co-author of the study, Adam de Havenon, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, said, “[The] study shows a dramatic increase in the prices of neurologic medications over five years and the increases remained large even after being adjusted for inflation. The rise in cost of some drugs must stabilize or be reversed.”
Kavita Nair, co-author of the study, pointed to brand name drug makers’ repeated price increases as the principal driver of increased Medicare spending, according to STAT. The study also found Big Pharma continues to increase prices on both old and new medications. Prices for older multiple sclerosis medicines, for example, have kept rising even as newer treatments have been launched.
The study is further confirmation that Big Pharma’s egregious pricing practices continue to increase prescription drug costs for taxpayers and exacerbate a crisis of prescription drug affordability for American patients.
Read the full STAT News column HERE.
Read more on Big Pharma’s pandemic price hikes HERE.
Learn more about market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices HERE.