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Exclusive: Drugmakers to raise prices for at least 350 drugs in the US in January

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NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Drugmakers including Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N), AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L) and Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) plan to raise U.S. prices on more than 350 unique drugs in early January, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

The increases are expected to come as the pharmaceutical industry braces for the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows the government’s Medicare health program to directly negotiate prices for certain drugs from of 2026. The industry also faces inflation and the supply chain. constraints that resulted in higher manufacturing costs.

The increases are on list prices, which do not include discounts to Pharmacy Benefit Managers and other discounts.

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

The median drug price increase was 4.9% last year, while the average increase was 6.4%, according to 46brooklyn. Both of these figures are lower than inflation rates in the United States.

Drugmakers have largely kept increases to 10% or less – an industry practice followed by many big drugmakers since they came under fire for too many price hikes amid the last decade.

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

“Drugmakers need to take a closer look at calibrating these introductory prices from the outset… so that they don’t lock themselves in to the point where in the future they can’t raise prices to return to profitability” , did he declare. said.

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

Pfizer has announced the most increases to date, with prices rising on 89 unique drug brands and an additional increase on 10 drug brands in its Hospira arm.

This was followed by GSK, with increases expected so far on 26 unique drugs, including a nearly 7% increase on its popular shingles vaccine Shingrix.

GSK was not immediately available for comment.

Notable increases expected include 9% price hikes on personalized CAR-T cell therapies from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N) Abecma and Breyanzi, which already cost more than $400,000 for blood cancer treatments.

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

Increases for Pfizer include a 6% increase in the cost of Xeljanz, a treatment for autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, and a 7.9% increase in 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 around 3.6%, noting the increases are needed. to support investments in drug discovery.

Pfizer noted that net prices — those the company actually receives for its drugs — have fallen over the past four years due to higher discounts and rebates given to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.

AstraZeneca is expected to raise prices by around 3% on blood cancer treatment Calquence, non-small cell lung cancer drug Tagrisso and asthma treatment Fasenra.

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

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 spokesperson said the drugmaker’s pricing actions in 2023 are consistent with its approach to responsible pricing, compliance with government policies and the need to respond to changing market trends.

Reporting by Michael Erman and Julie Steenhuysen; edited by Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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