Jan 14, 2021 - Health

Drug companies keep raising prices

A drug pill half-filled with money.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

More than 100 pharmaceutical companies raised prices on over 600 drugs at the beginning of the new year, according to a new report from the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs.

The big picture: Millions of people have lost their health insurance because of the pandemic, and uninsured patients must often pay the full sticker price for prescription drugs.

By the numbers: 95% of price hikes were on brand-name drugs. The median increase was about 5%, and almost all of them were greater than inflation.

  • Pfizer raised prices on 93 products, more than any other company.
  • AbbVie hiked the price of Humira — which raked in $21 billion in sales in 2019 — by 7.4%.
  • Eliquis and Revlimid had increases of 6% and 4.5%, respectively.

The other side: As drugmakers are always quick to note, list prices don't tell the full story. Patients with insurance don't pay those prices, and may not see any increase in their costs even when list prices go up.

  • But price increases do affect the uninsured and people with high deductibles.

Go deeper: The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped drug price increases

Go deeper