Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Drug prices are still climbing higher, despite President Trump’s promises of big and immediate discounts.

By the numbers: At the end of July, drugmakers had raised the price of brand-name products more than 4,400 times this year, compared with 46 price cuts, according to an Associated Press analysis. That works out to 96 increases for every reduction.

  • In the two months after Trump announced his administration's blueprint to lower drug prices, there were 16.5 price hikes for every price cut.
  • Both the median price hike and median price cut were smaller than usual during that period, suggesting the industry may be “self-policing” — but not enough to change the overall upward trajectory of drug prices.
  • “The rate of increases has slowed down, but prices haven’t decreased,” Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor of pharmaceutical economics at the University of Minnesota, told AP.

Eternal caveat: Few patients pay the full sticker price for drugs. Discounts and rebates can hold insured patients’ costs flat even as list prices rise.

  • But sticker prices are still the starting point for those negotiations, so they’re an important part of the process — and uninsured patients do have to pay the whole thing.

Flashback: The illusion of lower drug prices.

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 31,175,205 — Total deaths: 962,076— Total recoveries: 21,294,229Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,829,956 — Total deaths: 199,690 — Total recoveries: 2,590,695 — Total tests: 95,121,596Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.