It's Not Just Shkreli Who's Been Hiking Drug Prices
Lots of drugmakers did it around Jan. 1—some up to 20%, per analyst reports
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2016 12:17 PM CST
A man enters Pfizer's world headquarters on Nov. 23, 2015, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) Martin Shkreli attracted no small amount of scorn for jacking drug costs, but he's far from alone. Plenty of other drugmakers have been guilty of hikes, many just since late December, claiming they need to do so to fund "risky" research, the Wall Street Journal reports. Analysts say many of the increases—which the Journal notes are on list prices, before the rebates and discounts manufacturers often provide—hover around 10%. Per Reuters, Pfizer alone, which puts out Viagra and the pain drug Lyrica, among others, raised the prices of 105 drugs at the start of 2016, some by as much as 20%, according to stats put together by info services firm Wolters Kluwer. (Pfizer confirmed some of the price increases to Reuters, but a rep said he couldn't immediately speak to all the reported hikes.)

The Journal points out that it's not odd for pharma companies to hike prices right around the new year—but notes that it's somewhat unusual for this to take place now in the current climate, when doctors, patients, and the likes of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been promising to put a stop to rampant increases. The CEO of HealthPartners, a Minnesota nonprofit health-care provider, tells the Journal that such hikes "are becoming increasingly intolerable for consumers, health plans, doctors and hospitals." But the CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, which makes a drug that helps MS patients walk, tells the paper that cost increases are "our way of insuring that we can survive and develop these programs and bring these new innovative drugs to market." (A pill for hepatitis costs 250 times more in the US than in India.)
 

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