CSRxP: New Study Highlights How Big Pharma’s Price-Gouging Burdens Taxpayers, Harms Patients

Apr 11, 2019

Bloomberg Analysis Finds Medicare Spending On 22 Drugs Jumped More Than 500 Percent In Five Years

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) released a statement Thursday on a new Bloomberg Government analysis that reveals the cost for 22 drugs increased more than 500 percent per dose from 2013 through 2017.

“Big Pharma’s price-gouging is putting tremendous burden on taxpayers and putting Americans in the unconscionable position of being forced to choose between affording their groceries or their medications,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson.  “This new analysis lends further credence to the massive trove of evidence that the crisis of rising prescription drug prices in America is the result of anti-competitive tactics and price-gouging from Big Pharma.”

According to the analysis, which examined Medicare Part D data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), out of the nearly 2,900 drugs covered under Medicare, just 77 were responsible for slightly more than half of total spending in 2017.

Thiola, a drug used to treat a rare genetic condition called cystinuria, saw the sharpest increase in spending per dose.  In 2013, Medicare spent $1.21 per dose.  In 2017, spent 24 times that amount at an average of $29.17 per dose.

Overall, Medicare spent approximately $154.8 billion on 42.7 million Americans with Part D coverage in 2017.

The new data underscores that, not only are consumers contending with the high price of prescription drugs, the federal government is too.  Brand name pharmaceutical manufacturers continue to increase prices at the detriment of taxpayers and patients.  With little competition in the marketplace, there are few cheaper alternatives.

CSRxP continues to advocate for bipartisan, market-based solutions that will allow generics and biosimilars to enter the market faster, increase competition and drive prices down.