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Net prices of drugs rising four-times faster than inflation



– The net prices of drugs are increasing four times faster than the rate of inflation, despite being offset 43% from list prices.

Pills and capsules atop a spread of $100 bills Kenishirotie/Thinkstock

List prices increased by 232% from 2007 to 2018 (12% per year) and net prices increased 133% during that same time period. For Medicaid, the gross-to-net discount increased from 40% in 2007 to 68% in 2018. For all other payers, the increase was 22%-50% during that same period, Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, and colleagues reported at annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

The investigators also found a wide variation on discounts across therapeutic classes. For example, list price for drugs in the multiple sclerosis category increased 407% over the study period while net price increased 221%. Insulins came in second in terms of gross price increases (337%) but saw only net prices increases by 83% due to increasing discounts, according to Dr. Hernandez, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh.

List prices for noninsulin diabetes treatments tripled during the observation period, but net prices went up only 24%. List price increases were lowest in the antineoplastic class, averaging 135%, though there were only 34% in rebates to offset the list price, resulting in an average net price increase of 89%.

Research was based on pricing data supplied by investment firm SSR Health for branded products and U.S. sales reported by publicly traded companies. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute sponsored the study.

SOURCE: Hernandez I et a. AMCP Nexus, poster U2.

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