Jun 9, 2022

Nearly Half of All New Brand Name Drugs Cost More Than $150,000 Per Year

In case you missed it, a new academic study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from researchers affiliated with Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital showcases how Big Pharma increasingly engages in egregious pricing practices on brand name drugs.

The research investigated trends among launch prices of 548 drugs launched between 2008 and 2021. According to the data, “from 2008 to 2021, launch prices for new drugs increased by 20 percent per year.”

Bloomberg coverage of the research notes that “over 47 percent of new drugs introduced in 2020 and 2021 cost more than $150,000 per year, compared to just nine percent of new drugs from 2008 to 2013.”

Overall, drug prices have risen at rates more than double the rate of other health-related spending, as the report indicates that, “overall health care spending typically increases around five percent annually.”

In addition to rapidly increasing launch prices on new branded products, Big Pharma also consistently engages in egregious price hikes on existing drugs. In January of 2022 alone, pharmaceutical companies hiked prices on nearly 800 brand name drugs. A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Big Pharma hiked prices faster than the rate of inflation on 23 of the top 25 most popular prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program in 2020. An analysis from the Institute of Clinical and Economical Review (ICER) found brand name drug makers’ price hikes on just seven drugs cost the U.S. an additional $1.67 billion that same year.

The new research on pharmaceutical companies’ egregious launch prices should add to the momentum in Washington for policymakers to deliver on repeated promises to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices for the American people.

Read AXIOS Vitals’ coverage of the analysis, “1 Big Thing: Exponential Drug Price Growth,” HERE.

Read Bloomberg’s coverage of the analysis, “New Drug Prices Soar to $180,000 a Year on 20 Percent Annual Inflation,” HERE.

Read the research letter published in JAMA, “Trends in Prescription Drug Launch Prices, 2008-2021,” HERE.

Read more on how Big Pharma’s egregious launch prices are making cancer treatments unaffordable for patients HERE.

Learn more about market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices HERE.