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Pfizer, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline plan to increase US drug prices in 2020

Published on 02/01/20 at 10:52am

Multiple drugmakers, including Pfizer, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, plan to increase US list prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States.

Most price increases are expected to be announced later this week. Most will be below 10 percent and around half of them will be in the 4-6 percent range, as most drugmakers have pledged to keep their price increases below 10 percent a year due to pressure from patients and politicians.

Pfizer spokeswoman Amy Rose confirmed the company’s planned price increases. It plans to increase the list prices on around 27 percent of its portfolio in the US by an average of 5.6 percent. It will hike prices on more than 50 drugs, including its cancer treatment Ibrance, which made nearly $5 billion in profits in 2019, and its arthritis drug Xeljanz.

Sanofi said it will raise prices on around 10 of its drugs, and GlaxoSmithKline said it will raise prices on more than 30 drugs. The price hikes for all these drugs range from one to five percent.

Soaring drug prices have been a key political issue over the last two US election cycles. President Donald Trump pledged to bring down drug prices in his 2016 campaign, and in 2018 targeted Pfizer’s proposed price hikes.

Frontrunners in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have attacked the increasing price of drugs. Sanders has continually introduced bills in the Senate that have aimed to slash the price of prescription drug costs.

The proposed lower costs come with their push for ‘Medicare-for-All’, attempting to make the US adopt a socialised healthcare system like those found in Western Europe, Scandinavia, and close neighbours like Canada and Cuba. In many cases, the state healthcare system negotiates lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies for patients.

Conor Kavanagh


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