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Drug companies continue to raise list prices. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A handful of drug companies rang in 2018 with price hikes that easily surpass inflation but stay conspicuously below double digits. Investment banks Jefferies and Cowen highlighted some of the big ones (listed below the fold).

Get smart: Our reporting might sound like a broken record, but it's the truth: Despite public outcry, the pharmaceutical industry has no incentive to change its drug pricing tactics.

Some of the drug companies raising prices:

  • AbbVie's blockbuster Humira: 9.7%
  • Amgen's arthritis medicine Enbrel: 9.7%
  • Allergan's dry eye drug Restasis: 9.5%
  • Insys Therapeutics' opioid spray Subsys: 9.5%
  • Biogen's multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera: 8%

But wait, there's more: Cowen conducted a survey of large drug purchasers, and most said drug prices will continue to rise. More than three-quarters of respondents also said there's almost no chance U.S. drug price controls will occur in the next three years.

Go deeper

44 mins ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

2 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.