Hundreds of prescription drugs have higher prices in 2022
January 4, 2022 – Pharmaceutical companies raised the prices of hundreds of drugs on January 1, with most prices rising by an average of 5%.
Prices rose on 460 drugs, matching the past few years, according to STAT News. The start of the new year is the most popular time for drug companies to raise prices, and more are likely to come throughout January.
Several major drugs have been included in this batch of 2022 price increases:
- Gilead: 5.6% on anti-HIV drugs named Biktarvy and Descovy
- Pfizer: 6.9% on breast cancer drug Ibrance, 6.9% on Prevnar pneumonia vaccine and 4.4% on heart drugs Vyndamax and Vyndaqel
- Purdue: 5% off the opioid drug OxyContin
- Vertex: 4.9% on Trikafta, a cystic fibrosis drug that has no competitors and already had a list price of more than $311,000 a year
Notably, the increases affect the list prices of drugs, according to Axios. Pharmacy benefit managers can negotiate lower drug prices through rebates, so drug manufacturers can collect lower net prices.
“We expect net prices to continue to decline due to increased discounts and rebates,” a Gilead spokesperson told Axios.
But list prices are still what uninsured people pay, and deductibles and coinsurance rates are often based on a drug’s list price, the outlet reported. Pharmaceutical companies also often earn most of the list price of patented drugs with little competition.
“This modest increase is necessary to support investments that allow us to continue to discover new medicines and bring these breakthroughs to patients who need them,” a Pfizer spokesperson told Axios.
Vertex’s price increases on Trikafta and other cystic fibrosis drugs are the “first price increases for a Vertex drug since 2017 and the first for … Trikafta,” a spokesperson told Axios.
The drug companies did not respond to specific questions about discounts or rebates, the outlet reported.