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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

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Jan 16, 2021 - Health

Majority gives Dems new health care goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A narrow Democratic majority increases the odds that significant health care legislation could become law.

What they're saying ... The Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt listed health policies that Democrats may enact with a Senate majority:

  • Nullifying the pending GOP lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
  • Making ACA premiums more affordable.
  • Offering incentives for states to expand Medicaid.
  • Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices.
  • Eliminating cost-sharing for coronavirus treatment.

Who to watch: Most Democratic policymaking on health care will come from the administration — specifically President-elect Biden's pick to head up the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra.

  • Biden has also announced a task force, led by Marcella Nunez-Smith, on racial disparities in health care — a longstanding problem that got more urgent during the pandemic. 
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
35 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.