Pharmaceutical industry is raising prices in times: who stands behind all this?

AstraZeneca is to increase its stockpiles of drugs by about a fifth in preparation for a no-deal Brexit after European regulator told companies to be ready for a possible hard Brexit in April 2019.

Here are some facts customers should be aware of:

  • For the past 6 years, top popularity under-the-counter medications in the United States became sufficiently more expensive. It happened with most of them, no matter how long they have been present on the pharmaceutical market and no matter if any generics for these branded drugs exist. Such information was found in one of the recent studies, carried out in the US institutes.
  • For more statistics take a look at this fact: the researchers analyzed almost 50 different drugs and their price fluctuations between 2012 and 2017. They found out that the median price increase comprised 76% — in both insurance companies and patients with no insurance plans. If we analyze more price increase cases, we can clearly see that in the same research it is said about 28 out of 36 medications, the price of which has grown by over a half. There are 16 other pharmaceutical products, which price has skyrocketed twofold in a couple of years.
  • The study included 49 most popular drugs, which bring about half billion dollar in sales amount solely in the USA. At the same time these drugs are sold for $1 billion worldwide in the time frame 2012–2017. In addition, the study findings were based on 100 thousand pharmacy claims left by private insurers. The drugs selected for the net pricing data analysis were provided by SSR Health.
  • Key takeaways from this group of research papers states: the price of popular branded meds is likely to double every 7–8 years regardless of the external factors. The same refers to interchangeable medications — they pick up the trend and become more expensive as the ones prescribed originally. The most common example that was analyzed was insulin medications (researchers took 3 most common branded drugs).

What does this mean?

Scientists and socially active individuals consider this dishonest and disheartening: they understand the rising costs on salaries, infrastructure and raw substances, but the extent and the frequency on price increase episodes cannot be understood in full. In the study mentioned above there was found only one drug with a price decrease — we are talking about a medication for hepatitis C treatment.

Unfortunately, all new drugs entering the market show the same trend: significant price increase over a couple of years. In contrast, the price formation principles in Canada, explained very well by Canadian Pharmacy, differ from those adopter in the U.S. in a way that drives many Americans order their drugs from across the border: the general prescription drug insurance plan adopted degressive pricing as a pricing policy for generic drugs in 2013. This method of pricing allowed the public plan to achieve big savings while protecting the government, industry stakeholders and beneficiaries of the public system inconvenience inherent in tenders.

Such research brings a lot of value as it provides information, which is necessary to take the situation under control. Most of the price spikes seemed universal, so customers may come to a conclusion that all medication prices follow the same scenario: both old ones and new ones.

However, the study has a notable limitation: the researchers acknowledge the fact that the information they provide doesn’t include rebates. They are controversial as the pharmaceutical manufactures usually specify higher rebates to increase the prices, and PBMs drug makers raise list prices at will to increase the income.

When this information was examined, there was a correlation found, which reflected the rise of net prices and insurer and person-with-no-insurance expenses for each medication. There is some kind of interplay with a great dependence on rebates: as if cost reduction may not be for good.

A great number of the US residents express their concerns and anxiety about constantly rising costs of prescription drugs. It creates certain difficulties for the legislation authorities. There is a number of proposals from the Congress and the President, which would potentially address the price formation system in pharmaceutical industry. However, the progress tempo leaves a lot to be desired.

The examples of popular medications with rapidly rising costs are common pills used to treat erectile dysfunction: Viagra and Cialis. Their price increase is almost two-fold. Antidepressants, osteoporosis treatment medication and drugs to quit smoking show much higher prices as well.

What is the way out for buyers?

Customers can search for reliable online pharmacies to shop generic drugs. Especially popular are the following groups of medications: erectile dysfunction treatment drugs, antidepressants, weight loss supplements, antibiotics, anti-viral and anti-fungi drugs, medications to treat allergies and diabetes, to quit smoking.

Some people wrongly assume that online pharmacies are rogue. However, such a position cannot be called a rational one. There is a true challenge — to find a reliable pharmacy to order pills at as there are a lot of new ones. They may cooperate with unknown manufactures and are unable to provide quality and safety certificates. Nevertheless, there are dozens of pharmaceutical market players, in Canada and in the US, who supply high-quality generic medications at reasonable prices. We suggest that you give it a try.