More Than 140 Drug Brands Will Have Their Prices Hiked Heading Into 2024

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 04, 2024 - 03:00 AM

More than 140 brands of drugs are going to see their prices hiked heading into the new year.

And we're guessing because there isn't one "punchable face" scapegoat like Martin Shkreli to take the heat for the entire industry which has spent yet another year whoring itself to Washington D.C. and sponsoring corporate media, the price hikes will go largely unnoticed by government officials who would normally fein outrage about the issue.

Healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors found that Pfizer, Sanofi and Takeda are among other drugmakers that'll hike prices on more than 140 brands and 500 different drugs/dosages, according to a Reuters report

At the same time, we're sure the media will swoon over the Biden Administration's significantly discounted prices on 10 other high cost drugs, set to be published in September. As per usual, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing...

Starting in 2026, under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare can directly negotiate drug prices. But concerns are rising about potential supply chain disruptions due to extended conflict in the Middle East, affecting Red Sea shipping routes. Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline and two other companies plan to reduce prices on various drugs, including treatments for asthma, herpes, and epilepsy, starting in 2024, with at least 15 drugs seeing price cuts in January, the report says.

The reductions follow earlier insulin price cuts by various companies to dodge penalties from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, which mandates Medicaid rebates from drug firms if their price hikes exceed inflation. Starting January 2024, these rebates could exceed the drugs' net cost.

3 Axis President Antonio Ciaccia said: "Every major former blockbuster insulin is going to get thrown under the tires of this policy." 

Drugmakers have generally limited price increases to 10% or less since facing criticism for excessive hikes in the mid-2010s. Despite high inflation, there hasn't been a significant acceleration in price increases for existing products. Since 2019, median price increases have been about 5%, as reported by 46brooklyn, a drug pricing non-profit.

Pfizer, leading in January price hikes for two consecutive years, plans to raise prices on 124 drugs, with an additional increase on 22 drugs by its Hospira division. Excluding various doses and formulations, 30 Pfizer and six Hospira drugs will see price increases. Takeda's Baxalta and Belgian firm UCB Pharma follow, with 53 and 40 drug hikes, respectively.

Sanofi, despite earlier commitments to reduce insulin prices in 2024, will increase prices on some vaccines by 9%. January is typically the peak month for drug price hikes, with 1,425 increases in 2023, slightly down from 1,460 in 2022.

While established drug price increases have moderated, prices for new drugs are soaring. In the first half of 2022, new drug prices reached an average of over $220,000, up from around $180,000 in early 2021, marking a 20% rise consistent with a JAMA study showing annual 20% increases in U.S. drug launch prices from 2008 to 2021.