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Exclusive-Drugmakers to raise prices on at least 350 US drugs in January

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By Michael Erman and Julie Steenhuysen

NEW YORK (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Drugmakers including Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca PLC and Sanofi SA plan to hike U.S. prices by more than 350 unique drugs in early January, according to data analyzed by the company. of health research 3 Councilors of the Axis.

The increases are expected to come as the pharmaceutical industry prepares for the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows the government’s Medicare health program to directly negotiate prices for some drugs starting in 2026. The industry is also grappling with inflation and supply chain constraints that have resulted in higher production costs.

The increases are on list prices, which do not include reimbursements to pharmaceutical benefit managers and other discounts.

In 2022, drugmakers raised the prices of more than 1,400 drugs according to data released by 46brooklyn, a nonprofit drug pricing organization related to 3 Axis. This is the largest increase since 2015.

The average drug price increase was 4.9% last year, while the average increase was 6.4%, according to 46brooklyn. Both figures are lower than US inflation rates.

Drugmakers have largely kept hikes at 10% or lower, an industry practice followed by many large drugmakers since they came under fire for too many price hikes in the middle of the last decade.

Antonio Ciaccia, president of 3 Axis, said drugmakers have focused on launching their drugs at higher price points due to the attention paid to annual price hikes. The IRA should foster this dynamic, he said.

“Drugmakers need to take a closer look at calibrating those introductory prices out of the gate … so that we don’t lock themselves in at the point where in the future they can’t raise prices to get back to profitability,” he said.

More drug prices are likely to be announced during January, historically the most important month for drugmakers to raise prices.

To date, Pfizer has announced the largest hikes, with prices surging on 89 unique drug brands and an additional hike on 10 drug brands at its Hospira arm.

That was followed by GSK, with hikes planned so far on 26 unique medicines, including a nearly 7% hike on its popular shingles vaccine Shingrix.

GSK was not immediately available for comment.

Notable increases expected include 9 percent price hikes on Bristol Myers Squibb’s Abecma and Breyanzi personalized CAR-T cell therapies, both already exceeding $400,000 for blood cancer treatments.

A company spokesman said there were several driving factors in the list price hike of the two CAR-T cell therapies, including the rate of inflation, the value of the therapies and the customized nature of the CAR-T manufacturing process. T.

The increases for Pfizer include a 6% hike on the cost of Xeljanz, a treatment for autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, and 7.9% hikes on the cancer drugs Ibrance and Xalkori.

A Pfizer spokesperson said in an email that the company’s average list prices for drugs and vaccines in 2023 are well below headline inflation at about 3.6%, noting that the hikes are needed to support investment in drug discovery.

Pfizer noted that net prices — the ones the company actually receives for its drugs — have declined over the past four years due to higher rebates and rebates paid to insurance companies and drug benefit managers.

AstraZeneca will raise prices by 3% for the blood cancer treatment Calquence, the non-small cell lung cancer drug Tagrisso and the asthma treatment Fasenra.

“AstraZeneca has always taken a thoughtful approach to pricing and we continue to do so, considering many factors,” said company spokesman Brendan McEvoy.

In addition to significant R&D investments, McEvoy said AstraZeneca considers clinical value, patient population size, government/payer coverage requirements, patient affordability, competition and other market conditions.

Sanofi plans to raise the prices of 14 of its drugs or vaccines.

A Sanofi spokesman said the drugmaker’s 2023 price actions are consistent with its approach to responsible pricing, adherence to government policies and need to respond to evolving market trends.

(Reporting by Michael Erman and Julie Steenhuysen; editing by Diane Craft)

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