Reuters has learned that the price of 350 unique drugs will go up in the U.S. since January

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Reuters: because of the inflation law in the U.S. since January will increase the price of 350 unique drugs

The increase in prices is associated with the U.S. presidential administration’s adoption of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will allow the government to negotiate prices for certain drugs directly, as well as with inflation and the disruption of supply chains

Major drug makers, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and Sanofi, plan to raise U.S. prices on more than 350 unique drugs in early January. Among them – rare drugs to combat autoimmune diseases and blood cancer, according to Reuters citing a study of the profile Three Axis Advisors (3 Axis).

According to the analysts, the price increase will come amid the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, which will allow the government’s Medicare health program to directly negotiate the prices of certain drugs starting in 2026. The industry is also struggling with inflation and supply chain disruptions that have increased manufacturing costs, according to the study.

As Reuters notes, drug makers in the U.S. raised prices on more than 1,400 drugs at the end of the year. This is the highest value since 2015. According to 46brooklyn (an NPO close to 3 Axis), the average increase in drug prices last year was 4.9%, which is lower than the rate of inflation in the U.S.

3 Axis estimated that Pfizer has already announced price increases for 89 unique drugs, GSK planned to increase prices for 26 drugs, including two for cell therapy (CAR-T) – Abecma and Breyanzi, which already cost over $400k. AstraZeneca intends to raise prices by 3% for cancer drugs Calquence and Tagrisso, as well as for the asthma drug Fasenra. Pfizer will raise prices by 6-7% for cancer drugs Ibrance and Xalkori.

Earlier The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported about the onset of “the era of expensive drugs” in the world. According to the newspaper, the creators of some new drugs in the field of gene therapy promise to cure the disease in a single course, with the cost of the latter “becoming a test for the health insurance system”. For example, since August, regulators in the U.S. and Europe have approved four drugs designed to treat rare genetic diseases. They must be taken once, but the cost per dose is at least $2 million.

As an example, the WSJ cites Hemgenix, a hemophilia B drug developed by UniQure of the Netherlands. The cost of the drug is $3.5 million, making it the most expensive in the world at the moment. A drug from Bluebird Skysona for a rare neurological disease that affects children costs $3 million, and Zynteglo for beta-thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder) costs $2.8 million. Novartis’ Zolgensma, used to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), costs $2.1 million.

At the same time, the developers of these expensive drugs claim that this cost is justified, since the drugs only need to be injected once. They believe that gene therapy can make a difference for patients with rare genetic diseases. However, not all patients will be able to pay for such treatment and health insurance companies also say that they “are not prepared to make such large payments,” writes WSJ.

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