Hu­mira, Ri­tuxan top list of costli­est drug price in­creases

The Korea Times - - HEALTH -

NEW YORK (REUTERS) — Ab­bVie’s rheuma­toid arthri­tis drug Hu­mira and Roche’s can­cer drug Ri­tuxan topped a list of seven treat­ments whose com­bined 2017 and 2018 price hikes ac­counted for a $5.1 bil­lion in­crease in U.S. spend­ing, a re­port re­leased on Tues­day showed.

The price hikes were more than twice the rate of med­i­cal in­fla­tion and were not sup­ported by any new clin­i­cal ev­i­dence, the In­sti­tute for Clin­i­cal and Eco­nomic Re­view (ICER) said in the anal­y­sis.

It was the first such an­nual re­port by the Bos­ton-based re­search group, which as­sesses the cost-ef­fec­tive­ness of drugs.

Other top treat­ments by spend­ing that were called out in the re­port were Pfizer’s pain drug Lyrica, Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Tru­vada, Am­gen’s white blood cell booster Neu­lasta, Eli Lilly & Co’s erec­tile dys­func­tion drug Cialis and Bio­gen Inc’s mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis treat­ment Tec­fidera.

U.S. drug prices are tough to pin down. Com­pa­nies may pro­vide list prices, but they also ne­go­ti­ate dis­counts and af­ter-mar­ket re­bates with pur­chasers and their rep­re­sen­ta­tives such as phar­macy ben­e­fit man­agers, health in­sur­ers, em­ploy­ers, and gov­ern­ment and state health cov­er­age pro­grams.

Drug­mak­ers have been un­der in­creas­ing po­lit­i­cal scru­tiny to lower costs to con­sumers and have re­sponded by lim­it­ing an­nual list price hikes to un­der 10 per­cent in many cases.

ICER eval­u­ated the pric­ing in part­ner­ships with SSR Health, a re­search firm, which cal­cu­lated the in­creases ex­clud­ing dis­counts and af­ter-mar­ket re­bates.

Ab­bVie spokes­woman Adelle In­fante said that ICER’s data on its net pric­ing is in­ac­cu­rate and called into ques­tion the group’s method­ol­ogy.

Roche spokes­woman Emmy Wang said that in pric­ing drugs, the com­pany strived for the right bal­ance be­tween pa­tient ac­cess and in­vest­ing for break­throughs in medicine.

Gilead, Bio­gen, Pfizer and Eli Lilly ques­tioned ICER’s anal­y­sis, method­ol­ogy and con­clu­sions, with Lilly spokesman Mark Tay­lor not­ing that generic ver­sions of Cialis were now avail­able for up to 90 per­cent less than the re­tail price.

Am­gen did not have an im­me­di­ate com­ment.

ICER ac­knowl­edged it was dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine the ac­tual in­crease in spend­ing on the drugs, but said it was con­fi­dent that the seven drugs cost a lot more.

Pric­ing drugs based on new ben­e­fits could help slow cost hikes, ICER Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer David Rind said.

“If man­u­fac­tur­ers weren’t rais­ing prices if they haven’t shown a new im­por­tant ben­e­fit, I think that would help,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.