Jan 2, 2024 - Health

Prices of hundreds of drugs expected to rise this month: new analysis

Illustration of medical pills with half of the capsule created from paper money.

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

More than 500 drugs are expected to see price increases early this month, according to a new analysis.

Why it matters: Drugmakers are more likely to raise or lower drug prices around the start of a new year, but the practice may get more scrutiny as the Biden administration conducts the first-ever Medicare drug price negotiations and cracks down on companies that hike drug prices faster than inflation.

Driving the news: The tally of expected price hikes comes from Reuters' report on an analysis from health care research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

  • Price increases in recent years have usually averaged around 5%-6%, amid public backlash over hikes.
  • Three companies are expected to lower prices on at least 15 drugs, per Reuters.

Meanwhile, Sanofi's previously announced $35 monthly out-of-pocket cap for its most prescribed insulin product took effect Monday for patients with private health insurance.

  • Sanofi joined two other major insulin makers, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, in lowering patient costs for insulin following political pressure from the Biden administration and some lawmakers. The Inflation Reduction Act capped the diabetes treatment's cost just for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The moves also save the drugmakers money they would otherwise owe to Medicaid under a tougher rebate policy that also took effect this year.

Go deeper: Legal battle over drug negotiations could collide with 2024 race

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