One thing many pharma companies declined to include in their New Year's resolutions? Lowering the prices of expensive brand-name drugs. Within the first few days of the year, drugmakers have raised U.S. list prices on more than 400 meds, GoodRx reports.
So far in January, drugmakers have hiked the prices on 434 branded drugs by an average of 5.2%, the group reports.
Pfizer is behind the largest number of price jumps, plus the steepest among any company. The company kicked off the New Year by dialing up the price tags of nearly 100 meds, ranging from a 0.5% jump on insomnia drug Halcion to a whopping 16.8% hike on immunology med Solu-Cortef.
Meanwhile, Pfizer bumped up the cost of pneumococcal shots Prevnar 13 and Prevnar 20 by 6.5% and 6.6%, respectively. The company's other drugs to get high-end price increases of 10% include the antibiotic Bicillin CR, the chemotherapy Camptosar, the estrogen-replacement therapy Depo-Estradiol and the anticoagulant Fragmin.
GlaxoSmithKline and Teva Pharmaceuticals each raised prices on more than 30 products. More than 20 price increases from generics juggernaut Teva landed well above the industry average at 9.4%, according to GoodRx. GSK's price bumps, meanwhile, ranged from 2% to 7%.
French drugmaker Sanofi, for its part, raised the list prices of 13 meds. They range from a 2.4% increase on its combination vaccine for diphtheria and tetanus, Pentacel, to a 5.2% increase on meningococcal vaccines Menactra and Menquadfi, plus typhoid fever preventative Typhim Vi.
Meanwhile, Gilead raised the prices on 11 meds—all by 5.6%.
Pfizer’s 16.8% price increase on Solu-Cortef marks the highest price increase so far this year. It’s trailed closely by Exeltis' birth control pill Tyblume, which saw its price jump 15.8%. Leadiant Biosciences’ cancer med Matulane climbed 15% on Jan. 1., as did Collegium Pharmaceutical’s pain drugs Nucynta and Nucynta Er.
Novartis upped the prices on just three drugs, Simbrinza, Signifor and Signifor Lar, by 5.3%, 5% and 5%, respectively, largely in line with the reported average.
One interesting pricing play came from BioMarin, Piper Sandler analysts wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. The price hikes, which “seem a bit more aggressive than years past,” could “provide for some moderate upside as 2022 progresses,” the analysts said.
The team flagged four BioMarin drugs: Brineura, whose price increased 3.5% versus 2% in 2021; Naglazyme, which has seen a 5% increase versus 2% in 2021; Palynziq, whose list price jumped 5.55% in 2022 versus last year’s 4%; and Vimizim, up 5% at the start of the New Year compared to 2% in early 2021.
So far, the January 2022 figure comes in below the 589 price hikes at a 4.2% average that GoodRx reported at the start of 2021. 2022's figures more closely resemble 2020's, when prices were raised on 463 drugs as of Jan. 3. But it's still early in January, so this month's numbers could climb.