Roche, Merck, Novartis and others hike prices on 83 meds starting in July
fiercepharma | July 09, 2019
Its not uncommon for drugmakers to raise prices on big-selling meds to start each year and at each years halfway point. So as the calendar turned to July, many companies marked the occasion with price increases in an indication that political pressure against pharma's price hikes may be waning. So far in July, drugmakers including AbbVie, Roche’s Genentech, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have raised prices on at least 83 medicines, Wells Fargo analyst David Maris wrote in a note. He cited MediSpan PriceRx data in his reporting and only tracked price hikes from a group of big and specialty pharma companies. The figure compares with eight price hikes for the same group last year. Market watchers may remember Pfizer’s mid-year price hikes in 2018 that caused a headache for the industry. After the company raised dozens of prices, President Donald Trump tweeted that the pharma giant and others “should be ashamed” of their moves. After a call between Pfizer’s then-CEO Ian Read, Trump and HHS secretary Alex Azar, the company agreed to defer the increases. Now, price hikes seem to be attracting less attention, Maris wrote. “To us it appears now that the criticism from politicians and the president has quieted down, companies are more aggressively and broadly pursuing drug price increases again,” he wrote. “We are not so confident that the lull in criticism will continue and could foresee more negative headlines in the coming months." In July, Novartis’ Sandoz raised prices on six products by 9.9%; AbbVie raised prices on blood cancer treatment Venclexta by 5%; Genentech raised prices on a range of products by 1.5% to 3%; Amneal instituted its own set of 9.9% price hikes; Eli Lilly raised prices for cancer drugs Cyramza, Alimta and Erbitux by 2.5%; and Merck raised prices on HIV therapy Insentress by 5%.