Big Pharma says dis­counts make its sky-high list prices mean­ing­less. Not quite

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - CONTENTS - ——Robert Lan­greth, with Jared Hop­kins

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try has long said that list prices aren’t a re­li­able in­di­ca­tor of what Amer­i­cans pay for pre­scrip­tion drugs be­cause big cus­tomers, in­clud­ing health in­sur­ers and phar­macy beneft man­agers, ne­go­ti­ate dis­counts. Yet a Bloomberg anal­y­sis of 38 medicines with global sales of more than $1 bil­lion a year showed that 29 of them logged price in­creases of more than dou­ble the rate of in­fla­tion from 2009 to 2015, even af­ter es­ti­mated dis­counts were fac­tored in.

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