Newly bulked-up UnitedHealth now boasts the U.S.' third largest pharmacy benefits business--and it's using its scale to push for refunds when meds don't live up to their billing, it says.
Vertex had a pretty good idea that drug pricing critics wouldn't be so keen on its $259,000-per-year tag for cystic fibrosis med Orkambi. And sure enough, less than three weeks after the combo med won the FDA's green light, the pushback is here.
As drug costs continue to rise, payers and the public are calling for more transparency in how Big Pharma sets its prices for new meds. The benefits of the drugs do not outweigh their costs, some groups say, and more needs to be done to make sure companies are pricing accordingly. Now industry watchers have a new ally, as a nonprofit nabbed $5.2 million in private funding to investigate drug pricing in the U.S.
India has fought long and hard for more price caps on essential medicines in the country, with a parliamentary committee in April lobbying for expanded government price control despite pushback from Big Pharma. Now, as part of its latest crusade, the country is extending price caps for two more antibiotics and setting new prices for branded meds.
U.S. drug payers have been able to beat back high prices for some COPD and diabetes drugs, much to the chagrin of GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. But several new categories promise to break out in a big way, and we are not talking just about hepatitis C drugs.
New hep C meds have drawn their fair share of criticism, with lawmakers, patients and payers claiming that the drugs' hefty price tags unfairly restrict their use to the sickest patients. Now, more voices are joining the swelling chorus of discontent as two inmates are suing the Massachusetts state prison system for not providing the drugs to prisoners.
Twenty-seven drug brands took 20% price increases last year, and dozens saw prices at least double over the past 5 years, Bloomberg reports. Once again, the usual suspects top the price-increase lists. And diabetes products are conspicuously present.
Cancer drug pricing is turning more and more heads, especially as critical payers threaten a crackdown in the oncology field. And there's a reason for all the hullaballoo: Spending on oncology meds is increasing rapidly, new IMS numbers show.
As payers continue to flex their drug-pricing muscles, it's more important for drugmakers to land on their good sides--especially as companies prepare to roll pricey treatments onto the market. And pharma execs are taking note.
As the M&A wave sweeps over pharma, companies are wheeling and dealing for a number of different reasons. Slim-down strategies, tax break potential, portfolio diversification and other usual suspects have all driven transactions as of late--but the promise of price hikes has, too.