By Sarah Owermohle
Prescription drug prices jumped 10.5 percent over the past six months, more slowly than during the same period last year but still four times faster than inflation, despite increasing pressure on drugmakers from the Trump administration and Congress.
However, the top drug brands in the U.S. saw prices rise by an average of only 3.1 percent over the past six months according to Bernstein analysts, who calculated the average based on which brands — usually the top-sellers — they cover.
The data showing an overall leap in generic and brand-name prices was preliminary and may not give a clear picture of trends in the industry. Yet while many of the price hikes on Monday were for lower-cost drugs, and a handful of branded products fell in price, critics of the drug industry were quick to pounce.
The numbers “underscore the urgency for bipartisan action in Washington to increase competition, boost transparency and crack down on [the industry’s] egregious pricing practices,” said Jon Conradi, spokesperson for the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, a coalition including pharmacy benefit managers, health plans, doctors and hospitals.