Stories by Bob Herman

Drug makers still raising prices, but seeking fewer hikes

Data: 46brooklyn Research; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The number of price increases on brand-name drugs fell by about half from 2015 through 2018, according to data provided to Axios and compiled by 46brooklyn Research, a nonprofit firm that tracks drug prices.

Yes, but: Several companies still raised list prices frequently and at rates well above inflation, and many medications that saw higher prices had already lost patent protection or are nearing a patent expiration.

Walmart, CVS settle pharmacy pricing dispute

A CVS pharmacy in San Francisco.
CVS and Walmart reached a new deal. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walmart pharmacies will stay in the network of CVS Health's pharmacy benefit manager after the two sides agreed to a new pricing contract.

The big picture: So much for that spat. However, the Wall Street Journal reported Walmart "didn't ask CVS to increase the amount it pays when shoppers fill a prescription," and instead asked to "maintain rates at current levels." That detail fits with a new Columbus Dispatch story, which showed the CVS pharmacy benefit manager paid Walmart stores 46% less for some drugs than CVS' own pharmacies.

Eli Lilly's buyout of Loxo Oncology took only 2 weeks

Eli Lilly's logo on a phone screen.
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly made its first offer to buy Loxo Oncology on Dec. 20, 2018, and it was eager to close the deal before the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference last week, according to new regulatory documents filed by Loxo.

Between the lines: Acquisitions usually take several months of negotiations, not 2 weeks, but both sides in this $8 billion deal moved extraordinarily quickly in part to make a big splash at the health care industry's signature event.

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