Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
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.

Details: 46brooklyn previously studied generic pricing trends using federal data, and has since expanded to analyze federal data on brand-name drugs. A few caveats exist with its latest dataset:

  • The firm's analysis tracked list prices, and therefore doesn't include rebates and discounts that are paid to various middlemen. The industry hides those net prices as trade secrets.
  • Many high-cost drugs, like some cancer drugs and outpatient medicines, were not included in the analysis.

By the numbers: There are records of more than 10,000 drug price increases from 2015 through January 2019. But the pace of those price increases dropped once the calendar flipped to 2017.

  • No drug company raised prices more frequently than Pfizer. The company accrued more than 2,300 price hikes over the past 4 years and was recently caught in Trump's Twitter crosshairs before ultimately deciding to go back to the status quo.
  • Pfizer also has a lot of drugs on the market. After adjusting for the number of Pfizer's products, the company had about 23 price hikes per drug over the same time span, according to our own analysis of 46brooklyn's data. Pfizer responded by referring to a November statement that said prices for 2019 were unchanged for 90% of its drugs.
  • Other large drug makers that own a lot of medications — such as Allergan, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson — similarly raised prices hundreds of times since 2015.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb had the most price hikes per drug (81.5), as the company raised prices multiple times on every dosage of two older drugs that have generic equivalents: Coumadin and Sustiva.
  • A BMS spokesperson said the company is committed "to fair pricing practices" and that net prices have not increased by more than 5% in any of the past five years. BMS also does "not plan to take increases on our mature medicines" in 2019.
  • Two other notable companies with high rates of per-drug price increases: AbbVie (32.6) and Purdue Pharma (28). AbbVie consistently raised the price of Humira, the world's top-selling drug. Purdue increased prices of a few drugs, including OxyContin, the controversial painkiller that has been tied closely to the opioid crisis.

The big picture: Although drug companies have slowed the number of price increases on their medicines due to the political climate, the industry at large is still raising prices with regularity, and that inevitably affects patients who have high deductibles and coinsurance rates.

  • We still don't know the net price companies are paid for their drugs, but their profits haven't taken a hit.

Go deeper: Explore the data.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.