Jun 3, 2019

The most common drugs are getting more expensive

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

The cost of all but one of the 49 top-selling brand-name drugs included in a new JAMA study increased between 2012 and 2017.

By the numbers: The median cost increase of the drugs over these 6 years was 76%, and most drugs saw cost increases once or twice a year.

  • The results suggest that costs for popular branded drugs will double every 7 to 8 years.

Caveat: The study uses data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Axis, which includes data from 35 million privately insured people. It did not account for rebates, which can't be linked to individual claims.

  • But it did compare its results with third-party estimates of net price data for each drug, and found that there was high correlation between net prices and costs.
  • "This association suggests that the offered supposition that higher list prices and greater reliance on rebates reduce costs may be untrue," the authors write.

Key quote: "Competition among brand-name competitors appeared to do little to stymie rising costs."

  • "Instead, products that may be prescribed interchangeably ... were highly synchronized in relative cost changes while demonstrating some of the largest cost increases in the industry over the past 6 years."

Go deeper: The drug pricing maze

Go deeper

Why the coronavirus pandemic is hitting minorities harder

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on black and Latino communities has become a defining part of the pandemic.

The big picture: That's a result of myriad longstanding inequities within the health care system and the American economy.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus, CDC says Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.