|WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the pharmaceutical industry ushers in the new year with widespread price hikes on hundreds of life-saving and life-sustaining medications, Patients For Affordable Drugs released a new report today that takes a closer look at the 554 price hikes so far this month, spotlights Pfizer’s 125 hikes, and highlights the impact on patients. The report demonstrates why urgent congressional action is needed to address Big Pharma’s abusive pricing practices and calls on Congress to pass the drug pricing reforms already agreed to in the Build Back Better Act. Those provisions would constrain rising drug prices for Americans by limiting annual price increases to the rate of inflation as well as permitting Medicare to negotiate for some of the costliest drugs in the program.“Even as we enter the third year of a pandemic, Big Pharma continues its practice of targeting American patients and consumers with price increases, completely undeterred by the financial and health challenges facing American families,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “Drug corporations can do this because we let them — unlike other nations that use their purchasing power to get a better deal. The drug pricing legislation agreed to in the Build Back Better Act would curb rising drug prices for millions of patients and halt abusive annual price hikes by limiting increases to the rate of inflation, which is projected to return to 2.3 percent in 2023. The Senate must pass this legislation immediately.”So far in 2022, drug companies have increased prices on 554 drugs, 183 drugs were hiked by $100 or more, and 118 drugs with increases carry a price over $5,000. The average price hike was 6.3 percent, and 1 in 4 price hikes exceeded the most recently available inflation rate at the time of analysis. The report closely examines price hikes made by Pfizer and its subsidiaries, which raised prices on 125 drugs, more than any other company. This comes after Pfizer shattered profit records in 2021 due to its COVID-19 vaccine, which was bolstered by billions of dollars in purchase agreements by the U.S. government. Pfizer projects sales for the vaccine in 2022 of $36 billion — nearly double the previous record for one-year sales for a prescription drug. The hikes Pfizer made on 7 of its 10 best-selling drugs translate into thousands of dollars in higher costs for patients.Ashley Suder of Morgantown, WV, takes Pfizer’s Eliquis to manage her autoimmune disease lupus. “I’ve had to spend my entire paycheck on drug costs. I’ll likely be taking Eliquis for the rest of my life,” Ashley says. “With the price increasing again, I worry about how I’ll make ends meet while still affording my drugs.” Pfizer’s 6 percent hike brought the price of Eliquis to $529, a $279 increase since the drug came to market in 2013. Eliquis is the fourth best-selling drug in the world and the costliest drug for Medicare, with more than 2 million beneficiaries taking the medication. The drug price provisions currently under consideration by the Senate will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines, including insulin; institute a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations. The full report can be found here. The data set and breakdown of the report’s methodology can be found here.