Branded Drug Prices Leapt Almost 15% Last Year, Led by Pain Pills, COPD and Heart Meds

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Source: FiercePharma

It's no secret that branded drugmakers often rely on price hikes to keep U.S. sales growth coming, especially on older meds whose patents are close to the ends of their lives. But according to new data, prices spiked more than 10% last year--a trend that may fuel the payer backlash that's been steadily mounting.

U.S. consumers saw prescription med prices vault 10.9% in 2014, according to the Truveris National Drug Index. Branded drug prices soared the most, climbing by 14.8%. But specialty drugs contributed their fair share to the leap, rising by 9.7%, and even generics chipped in with a 4.9% price jump.

"Drug costs across all categories are becoming an escalating concern for patients, employers, insurers and lawmakers," Truveris CEO Bryan Birch said in a statement. "Looking at macro industry trends, including consolidation, regulation and formulary pressures, we expect this price inflation to continue to put pressure on American households and employers in 2015."

Some therapeutic areas were more responsible than others for the pricing escalation. Across branded, generic and specialty drugs, muscle pain and stiffness therapies took the cake with a 29.8% increase; inflammation, COPD and heart disease treatments followed behind them, with each of those categories passing the 19% mark.

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