According to Barclays Capital, brand name prescription drugs rose 6.9 percent last year -- the highest ever since they began tracking drug prices in 2000.
Some of the biggest "jumpers" are isted below:
- Daiichi Sankyo's Benicar 29.3%
- Novartis' Gleevec 20.9%
- J&J's Concerta 19.7%
- Pfizer's Lipitor 12.4%
- BMS' Plavix 13.2%
According to Barclay the trend seems to be continuing as price increases for Jan-Feb 2011 have averaged 8.6 percent for 65 of the top-selling 130 drugs. These drugs account for more than 50 percent of the drug revenues in the US.
Of course, Lipitor and Plavix mentioned above are about to lose their patent protection. It would appear that Pfizer and BMS are trying to make hay while the sun still shines. A WSJ article notes that it may also be a case of the industry pushing back against government attempts at price controls.
Rebates for private drug plans averaged 14.3% in 2009 versus only 8.4% in 2002. The health care law recently raised the minimum Medicare rebate from 15.1% to 23.1%. But insurers say that price increases have still outpaced rebate increases.