Drugmakers hike prices for 2021 on 500 drugs

Sufferers from rheumatoid arthritis taking Abbvie’s drug Humira may face higher prices this year. Health care research firm 46brooklyn says Abbvie raised prices on around 40 drugs including a 7.4% hike on Humira, the world’s top-selling drug. It’s one of more than 500 drugs in the U.S. that 46brooklyn says kicked off 2021 with higher list prices.

It says nearly all the increases were below 10%. The median hike was down slightly from last year at 4.8%.

Bristol Myers raised prices on roughly a dozen drugs, including the price of its blood thinner Eliquis by 6% and cancer drug Revlimid by 4.5%. It said it only raised prices on drugs with ongoing clinical research. It expects net prices to fall this year after factoring in rebates and other discounts.

Last week Reuters reported that Pfizer plans to raise prices on more than 60 drugs by between half percent and 5%.

The industry’s price hikes come as the pandemic has reduced doctor visits and demand for some drugs. Drug makers are also fighting the Trump administration’s price-cutting rules that would reduce the industry’s profitability.

Since 2015, drug prices increases have slowed substantially. But 46brooklyn says the average cost per branded drug is still inching upwards. It notes pharmaceutical manufacturers are cycling out cheaper brands that treat large populations, replacing them with pricier brands designed to treat smaller populations.

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