Jan 2, 2020

Drug Makers, Including Brand Name Giants Like Pfizer, Increase Prices on More Than 200 Prescription Drugs Despite Mounting Crisis of Affordability

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) issued a statement Thursday in response to a new analysis which found drug makers, including brand name giants Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, rung in the New Year by increasing prices on more than 200 prescription drugs.

“Big Pharma’s latest price-hiking frenzy demonstrates the industry continues to operate with a business-as-usual attitude and thumb its nose at the millions of Americans struggling to afford their prescription drugs,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “These price hikes underscore the urgency for policymakers in Washington to keep their promise to the American people and advance market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices swiftly in the new year.”

“When Congress gavels back into session next week, it’s essential that lawmakers roll up their sleeves and get to work on passing reforms to increase competition, boost transparency and crack down on Big Pharma’s price-gouging,” Aronson added. “With an election approaching, the clock is already ticking. Lawmakers, in both parties, will need to work diligently to deliver relief for American patients.”

The new analysis, from health care research firm 3 Axis Advisors, found drug makers, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, increased the price of more than 200 drugs to start the new year, with a median price increase of approximately five percent.

  • Pfizer hiked prices on more than 50 drugs, including on its cancer treatment Ibrance and popular rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz. The brand name giant plans on raising prices on over a quarter of its portfolio by an average of 5.6 percent.


  • GlaxoSmithKline raised prices on more than 30 drugs, including on its blockbuster respiratory treatments and its cancer drug Zejula.


  • Sanofi raised prices on around 10 of its drugs.


  • 3 Axis Advisors expects more price hikes to be announced this week.


The price hikes come as the crisis of prescription drug affordability continues to grow.

A November 2019 Gallup survey found nearly 23 percent of Americans, approaching 58 million U.S. adults, say they have been unable to afford drugs they were prescribed in the past 12 months. The survey found the number of Americans who reported struggling to afford their medications also rose four percent from the start of the year.

The Gallup poll also found close to nine in 10 U.S. adults believe the current cost of prescription drugs is “much higher” or “somewhat higher” than what consumers should be paying. This perception was consistent across political and demographic groups.

Washington simply must act to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices. See CSRxP’s infographic detailing measures with significant bipartisan consensus in Congress HERE.