This month pharmaceutical companies have increased list prices on hundreds of branded drugs — mostly between 2-7% (with only a couple companies daring the optics of double-digit hikes). In aggregate, however, the rate of increase across a market basket of the most common branded therapies was lower than in previous years, and much of this list price increase will be offset by pharmaceutical rebates paid back to PBMs, insurers, employers and unions (of course these rebates often don’t help patients who are uninsured, who are yet to reach their deductible, or who are forced to pay a coinsurance percentage based on the treatment’s list price).
With financial analysts labeling the price increases “business as usual“, and with pharma consultants arguing that the opaque “gross-to-net bubble” makes list-price increases unworthy of attention, will policymakers ever have a transparent way to gauge the significance of each of these increases? And how can they determine which increases are justified and which aren’t? Read more here.