February 26, 2017 News

Wall Street Journal: “Facing Criticism, Drug Makers Keep Lid On Price Increases”

February 26, 2017

Jonathan D. Rockoff and Peter Loftus

Facing mounting criticism about prices, drug companies put some limits on their increases this year.

Prescription-drug makers traditionally raise list prices in January. This year, they didn’t raise prices for as many drugs as last year and imposed fewer boosts of 10% or greater, according to an analysis by the investment firm Raymond James & Associates.

About 5.5% of the increases reached the 10% level. A year ago, 15% did, and two years ago, 20% did.

Even so, the median drug-price increase was little changed from last year, at 8.9%, still far above the U.S. inflation rate of around 2%.

Self-policing on prices hasn’t been universal. Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC caused an outcry two weeks ago when it set an $89,000-a-year starting price for a decades-old muscular-dystrophy treatment that Americans could get from abroad for $1,600 a year or less until Marathon won U.S. approval to sell it. After criticism in Congress and elsewhere, Marathon said it would delay the launch.


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.