Newly launched US drugs headed for record-high prices in 2022

  • The average annual cost of new US drugs this year is $257,000. Is
  • Eight of the 13 drugs launched in 2022 cost more than $200,000 per year
  • Some drugmakers disclose little information about pricing

Aug 15 (Reuters) – Drugmakers are launching new drugs at record-high prices this year, a Reuters analysis has found, highlighting their pricing power, while Congress is set to push for prescription drugs in the United States by $ Takes steps to cut annual bills by more than 500 billion.

At the same time, some drugmakers are disclosing less information about the pricing of treatments that have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, Reuters found.

“In the US we allow drug manufacturers to set prices independently for all brand-name drugs,” Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Reuters.

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The 13 novel drugs approved for chronic conditions by the US Food and Drug Administration so far this year have an average annual price of $257,000, Reuters found.

They were in good company: Seven other newly-launched drugs cost more than $200,000. Three other drugs, launched in 2022, are used only intermittently and were not included in the calculations.

Last year, the average annual value of 30 drugs rose to $180,000 by mid-July 2021 for the first time ever, according to a recently published study in JAMA.

While the Reuters tally does not completely replicate the work of that study, it does show that new drug prices continue to rise.

The JAMA study also did not include drugs that are used intermittently. This included an adjustment to account for the fact that drugs for very rare diseases tend to have higher prices, which Reuters did not.

The pharmaceutical industry maintains that the prices of new drugs, many of which are now used to treat rare diseases for which there is no treatment, reflect their value to patients, including the need to prevent costly emergency room visits and hospital stays. Capacity is also included.

Drugmakers also stress that they do not determine what American patients pay for drugs.

“Each individual (health) insurer and plan will determine the out-of-pocket cost,” Eli Lilly & Co. said in response to a question about the $12,700 annual price of its new diabetes drug Monjaro. The company offers savings cards. To reduce those costs to $25 per month.

‘Trying to distract’

Also, it has become difficult to verify drug price information. Reuters requested price data from all 15 companies that launched new drugs this year.

Six manufacturers either did not respond to a request for price details or initially provided only partial information, such as “cost per vial”, rather than an annual cost based on average patient use, as they had previously.

Sanofi (SASY.PA) said its new drug, Enjaymo, used to treat a rare type of anemia, costs $1,800 per vial. When further pressured, the French healthcare group clarified that the typical annual price is $280,800.

Immunocor (IMCR.o) initially disclosed only a “per vial” price for the melanoma drug Kimtrac, and Dermavent Sciences only gave a “per tube” price for its new psoriasis cream. Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N) quoted a “per infusion” price for the cancer treatment Opdualag. All three eventually provided annual prices.

CTI BioPharma (CTIC.O) referred Reuters to a third-party database but later gave a monthly price for its rare anemia treatment Wonzo. Mycovia Pharmaceuticals said that “as a private company” it would not provide information about the price of its antifungal drug Vivozo.

Harvard University professor Dr. Amit Sarvaptwari, who specializes in health care law, said such incomplete disclosure could be an “attempt to distract” from the high annual costs.

Some drug manufacturers, in response, say that the cost of treatment can vary depending on the patient’s weight and other factors, which complicates estimating prices for the average patient.

Congress last week passed the historic $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act that includes a cap on annual drug price increases and allows the Medicare Health Program for Seniors to negotiate prices for the 20 drugs on which it is the most. costs more.

However, the bill does not limit what drugmakers can charge for new drugs. Some industry experts say this may force manufacturers to rely even more on higher launch prices.

“The industry will turn to new drugs to try to use the liver that remains undiagnosed,” said Daniel Ollendorf of the Center for Evaluation of Values ​​and Risks in Health at Tufts Medical Center.

A JAMA-published study on drug prices showed that between 2008 and 2021, US drug launch prices increased 20% annually.

On a net basis, which accounts for volume-based discounts and other discounts that health insurers negotiate with drug manufacturers, the prices of new drugs, according to the study led by researchers from the Boston-based Program on Regulation, Therapeutics. has increased by 11% annually. , and Law and from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Reuters did not calculate comparable increases for 2022 because such exemptions have not been made public.

Rebates and rebates are often sought by payers for new drugs once competing treatments become available. As the patent expires, the price of low-cost generic drugs also offsets inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which rose 2.8% in the 12 months to July.

“Most of the drugs that Americans use are generics,” said Rena Conti, associate professor at Boston University’s business school. Medicines are at the highest cost for diseases with few treatment options, he said.

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Reporting by Dina Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Carolyn Humer, Michelle Gershberg and Deepa Babington

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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