Big Pharma’s business model is working great…for them. They are racking in billions getting people hooked on their drugs and then hiking the prices up 667% in some cases.
According to ARS Technica, new drug-pricing data is showing massive and stunning hikes. One drug’s price has risen by a whopping 667%. This price hike is well over the cost of inflation. By law, drug makers are required to report their price increases quarterly. This is the first report from the new law and includes data on drugs that had price increases of 16% or more over their January 2017 prices. Drugmakers are also required to provide reasons as to why they’re driving up costs.
A generic liquid form of Prozac saw a great increase in price. Fluoxetine, the generic Prozac drug, went from $9 to $69 just in the first quarter of 2019—a 667% increase. The reason given was new production costs. Likewise, another generic medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) called guanfacine, went from about $29 to $87 in the first quarter of 2019, a more than 200% increase. Guanfacine’s maker, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, also listed production costs as a reason for the hike, as well as “market conditions.”
This data shows that even when people are concerned about the cost of drugs, Big Pharma doesn’t care. Instead of attempting to make their products better, less addictive, and cheaper, they make more money by doing the opposite and convincing people these drugs are necessary.
Anthony Wright, the executive director of the California advocacy group Health Access told KHN that this is a problem. “Even at a time when there is a microscope on this industry, [drug makers are] going ahead with drug price increases for hundreds of drugs well above the rate of inflation,” Wright said.
The drug price reporting law also faces challenges. The drug-maker industry group, PhRMA, has filed a lawsuit to overturn California’s law and it’s backed with the lobbying efforts of Big Pharma and their deep pockets. Earlier this month, the state of Nevada issued fines on drug makers for failing to comply with its drug pricing law, which passed in 2017.