AstraZeneca, Lilly, Sanofi and others raise prices to start July: report

A pandemic hasn’t stopped some pharma companies from implementing their traditional mid-year price hikes.

AstraZeneca, for instance, raised prices on 21 medicines from 1.5% to 6% this month, GoodRx reports. But while the U.K.-based company increased stickers on far more medicines than its peers did in July, it wasn't alone. Eli Lilly, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Biogen each slightly raised prices on one or two of their medicines.

Beyond Big Pharma, smaller companies United Therapeutics, Dynavax, Arbor Pharmaceuticals, Paratek, Rigel Pharmaceuticals and others raised certain drug prices. Overall, pharma companies have marked up 42 branded medicines by an average of 3.5%, according to the website. Those hikes follow 857 pushed through from January 1 to June 30.

The price hike for Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ controversial “female Viagra” medicine Addyi was among the largest in July. The company implemented a 9.3% price hike on the medicine, taking its 30-day list price to $478.

Some medicines on the list already saw price hikes earlier in the year, and the latest round took their cumulative 2020 increases beyond single-digit percentages. Addyi, for instance, is up 19.5% total so far this year, according to GoodRx. The price for Omeclamox-Pak from Cumberland Pharmaceuticals is up 13.4%.

Pharma companies have often raised prices twice per year—at the start of the year and in July—but amid scrutiny in recent years, many companies have moved to once-per-year price hikes in January. The latest moves show that while some companies are comfortable increasing prices in the current climate, others are staying away for one reason or another.

But even as list prices have continued to grow, pharma companies have also battled for better formulary positioning by offering bigger rebates and discounts. In the first quarter of 2020, net prices declined by an average of 2.6%, according to an analysis by SSR Health. That was despite average list price increases of 2.3%.

Jul 8, 2020

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