Prescription Drug Increases in the US

Posted:April 18, 2016

In the past 5 years, many major drug companies have increased prescription prices, almost doubling. Since 2011, 4 of the nation’s top 10 prescriptions have increased in cost more than 100 percent, while the other 6 increased 50 percent.

Turing Pharmaceuticals, who produces Daraprim which increased by 5,000 percent, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals have recently made news on cost hikes. The top 10 drugs from larger pharmaceutical companies went up 44 percent to $54 billion between 2011 and 2014.

One of the more common drugs for arthritis produced by AbbVie Inc, HUMIRA, increased 126 percent. In the past 5 years, drug spend has increased faster than both doctor visits and hospitalization.

Drug companies did not dispute increases but explain them by saying these costs spikes are to support new research, make up for failed drugs, and pay for clinical trials.  They argue that overall these drugs prevent hospitalization and associated costs. Pharmaceutical companies also state that discounts and rebates are not taken into account in these figures.

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