|WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to reports that Big Pharma kicked off the year with increased prices on 442 drugs and more price hikes expected, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:
“At a time when Americans are struggling with the surging omicron variant and prices for prescription drugs that are four times what other wealthy nations pay, Big Pharma began the new year yet again hitting Americans with unjustified and widespread price hikes. These unwarranted price increases reinforce the findings of a three-year congressional investigation that drug companies target Americans for price hikes because our government does not negotiate on our behalf. Clearly, the need for drug pricing reform is as urgent as ever — Americans are struggling to afford the medications they need and have waited too long for relief.
“The drug price provisions currently being considered in Congress for inclusion in a revised reconciliation package will directly take on Big Pharma’s price gouging by penalizing companies for price hikes above the rate of inflation. The provisions would also deliver relief to patients by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries and people dependent on insulin. These reforms are overwhelmingly supported by more than 80 percent of voters – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike — and will fight inflation by holding the line on premiums and health care costs for patients, employers, employees, and taxpayers.
“Patients are counting on Congress and the Biden administration to deliver drug pricing reforms immediately in this new year. ”
- According to GoodRx, Big Pharma raised prices on 442 drugs by an average increase of 5.2 percent with increases as high as 16.8 percent.
- A recent report describing the findings of a three-year investigation by the House Oversight and Reform Committee found that drug companies target the United States for price hikes because the U.S government does not regulate or negotiate drug prices. The investigation also revealed that price hikes were not based on increased R&D costs or efficacy, but instead were aimed at triggering executive bonuses and meeting revenue targets.
- Big Pharma is expected to make more price hikes throughout the month. In 2021, the industry spread 783 price hikes throughout the month of January to avoid the heightened scrutiny of Jan. 1 hikes.