January 8, 2020 News, Press Releases

BY THE NUMBERS: New Analysis Finds Over 500 Drug Price Hikes In First Week of January

WASHINGTON, DC — A new analysis by Patients For Affordable Drugs uncovered 524 drug price spikes in the first week of 2020, spotlighting widespread pharmaceutical industry price gouging that underscores the urgent need for Congress to address the issue. The non-profit group found that 72% of those price increases were on drugs with no generic competitors. Almost 100 drug companies rang in the new year with price hikes that averaged 5.6%, more than twice the rate of inflation.
David Mitchell, a cancer patient with Medicare coverage and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, paid $3,183 for his first refill of Pomalyst, a blockbuster cancer drug that Celgene/Bristol-Myers Squibb increased by more than $1,000 per month in January.

“These companies can’t break their addiction to taking the maximum price increases they think they can get away with,” said Mitchell. “Hundreds of price hikes make it clear why drug pricing reform is so sorely needed in America. Congress and the president will have another chance in 2020 to do right by patients and keep their promises by passing bills that stop price gouging.”

Today’s report, based on data from AnalySource, highlighted seven key drugs that increased in price. The snapshots demonstrate that:

  • Drugmakers continued historical patterns of price hikes. Gilead raised the price of the HIV drug Truvada for the 16th time since 2005 and Pfizer raised the price of Lyrica for the 14th consecutive year.
  • Medicare and Medicaid are getting ripped off. The antipsychotic drugLatuda costs Medicare and Medicaid $2.4 billion annually — it increased by nearly 5% to start the year. Imbruvica, a cancer drug, costs taxpayers almost $2 billion per year and increased by 7.4% in January. Revlimid is the second most expensive drug on Medicare — it jumped in price by $907 per month in January.
  • The majority of drugs with price increases face no competition. AbbVie’s January price hike on Humira brings the blockbuster drug’s total price increase to 341% since market entry in 2006. Pfizer’s Lyrica has increased 396% since 2005. Both companies have abused the regulatory system to avoid generic competition. The multiple sclerosis drug Tecfiderafaces no competition in the U.S., and Biogen increased the price again in January to $8,275 for a month’s supply.

View the full data set here. Take a closer look at seven spotlighted drugs: Humira, Imbruvica, Latuda, Lyrica, Revlimid, Tecfidera, and Truvada.



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