Pharma giant Pfizer has raised the U.S. prices of 91 drugs by approximately 20% so far this year, according to an article in the Washington Examiner. The price hikes came as the pharmaceutical industry faces Congressional scrutiny for its drug-pricing policies.
London’s Financial Times reported that Pfizer raised the prices of 91 drugs on June 1 from 5% to 13% percent. The drug-maker also hiked prices in January, bringing the full average of the increases up to 20% per drug.
Pfizer responded to the Financial Times report by saying it had “very comprehensive and extensive access programs for those that cannot afford or do not have good insurance.”
The company put its average net price increase at 4% in the U.S.
A common defense from pharma companies is that they price their drugs so high in order to recoup soaring research and development costs, according to the Examiner article. But consumer and patient advocacy groups have complained that there is little transparency surrounding those costs, making it difficult to determine how much of the revenue goes to actual research and how much to marketing campaigns.
Congress has had its eyes on the pharma industry in recent years as drug prices continue to rise. However, no reforms to address prices are on the horizon, except for potential changes to the FDA’s drug-approval process, the Examiner says.
Source: Washington Examiner; June 2, 2017.