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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

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.