By Lynn Allison
The researchers at GoodRx recently released their report on the most expensive drugs in America. The company, which helps consumers find the best possible prices for their prescription meds, also tracks trends in newly approved drugs on their Web site, www.goodrx.com.
“More drugs are coming out with sky high prices,” notes Tori Marsh, MPH, part of the Research Team at GoodRx, which has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show. “Since last May when we first started tracking the most expensive medications, several newly approved drugs have made it to our list which all have a price of more than $25,000 for a monthly supply.”
GoodRx’s data team tells Newsmax that some of these drugs are covered by insurance plans but may have some restrictions. For example, for Actimmune, most plans require that patients go through prior authorization or step therapy to receive coverage. The team advises that you check with your health insurance company or log onto www.mmitnetwork.com, a site that helps with looking up coverage percentages.
Here are the top 10 most expensive drugs in America and their monthly cost:
1. Actimmune-$52,321. This drug is approved for osteopetrosis and chronic granulomatous disease. Luckily, the manufacturer Horizon Pharma offers a patient assistance program to help uninsured or low-income patients get Actimmune at no cost. (A spokesperson for Horizon Pharma contacted Newsmax and said the list price “does not account for variables including patient compliance with ACTIMMUNE (a three-times-per-week injection), as well as the many complexities in coverage such as discounts, rebates, and patient assistance. With these variables, Horizon’s average net price for ACTIMMUNE is $24,000 per month. … In addition, the diseases for which ACTIMMUNE is indicated are rare and the medicine is used by fewer than 500 patients.)
2. Daraprim-$45,000. In 2015 Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, was convicted in federal court and sentenced to seven years in federal prison after he hiked the price of this drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Still, the cost of a one-month supply of 60 tablets remains sky high. Daraprim is commonly given to AIDS patients and to prevent infection in otherwise healthy patients.
3. Cinryze-$44,141. This drug is used to treat hereditary angioedema, a rare life-threatening genetic condition that causes swelling in various parts of the body, including hands, face and throat. Fortunately, commercially insured patients can get the drug for zero dollars with the Shire OnePath Co-Pay Assistance Program.
4. Takhzyro-$44,140. This drug was recently approved to also treat heredity angioedema and is the newest drug on the most expensive list.
5. Chenodal-$42,570. This drug is used to dissolve gallstones and costs a whopping $473 per tablet. Many patients have to take as many as 210 tablets a month.