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BigPharma Continues Price Hikes in 2024: A Call for Accountability

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Ethan Sulliva
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BigPharma Continues Price Hikes in 2024: A Call for Accountability

BigPharma Continues Price Hikes in 2024: A Call for Accountability

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In 2024, despite facing public and political scrutiny, major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Sanofi, and Takeda are moving ahead with price increases on more than 500 drug doses and formulations. This continues a trend seen in the previous years. For instance, in 2023, drugmakers raised prices on 1,425 drugs, a slight decrease from 2022 when prices were increased on 1,460 drugs. Nonetheless, these actions indicate a continuation of BigPharma's business-as-usual approach to price-gouging Americans.

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Pfizer Leads the Way

Pfizer is at the forefront of this trend, accounting for a quarter of all medicines included in the round of price increases. However, not all companies are following suit. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to cut costs on some asthma, herpes, and anti-epileptic drugs. Still, it's clear that the overall trend is towards higher prices, not lower ones.

Policy Efforts to Curb High Drug Costs

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These price increases come amid efforts by Washington, D.C., officials and lawmakers to clamp down on high drug costs in the United States. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) aims to limit price hikes to the rate of inflation, starting early this year. Furthermore, the White House flagged 48 Medicare Part B drugs that saw their prices grow faster than the rate of inflation in the final quarter of 2023. These actions could lead to lower coinsurance for some Medicare patients who receive the selected drugs starting in January.

The Impact of Inflation and Supply Chain Disruptions

Despite these efforts, the pharmaceutical industry is not slowing down its price hikes. In fact, there are worries about fresh disruption to supply chains due to a prolonged Middle East conflict. Furthermore, elevated inflation rates and escalating manufacturing costs add to the industry's challenges and give them an excuse to raise prices.

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Accountability for BigPharma

While some companies are expected to decrease prices on at least 15 unique drugs in January, the overall trend is clear - BigPharma is unwilling to curb its price hikes. Policymakers are urged to hold these companies accountable for their actions. The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) has already called out BigPharma for its plan to hike prices on at least 500 prescription drugs to start the year. Last year, the industry raised prices on 587 brand-name drugs by an average of 5.5 percent in January alone. These price hikes continue to outpace inflation, affecting more than 750,000 American seniors.

Conclusion

BigPharma's price hikes in 2024 show a continuation of their business-as-usual approach to price-gouging Americans. Policymakers are urged to hold them accountable for these actions. It's clear that the time for action is now. With the health and financial well-being of millions of Americans at stake, there's no room for complacency in the face of BigPharma's relentless price increases.

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