Brand-name drug prices rising at slower pace, lower amounts

HealthBeat

FILE- In this July 10, 2018, file photo bottles of medicine ride on a belt at a mail-in pharmacy warehouse in Florence, N.J. Drug companies are still raising prices for brand-name prescription medicines, just not as often or by as much as they used to, according to an Associated Press analysis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Drug companies are still raising prices for brand-name prescription medicines, just not as often or by as much as they used to.

That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of drug prices provided by health information firm Elsevier.

After years of frequent list price hikes, many drugmakers are showing some restraint.

In the first seven months of 2019, drugmakers raised list prices for brand-name prescription medicines by a median of 5%, down from about 9% or 10% over those months the prior four years.

The AP also found that from January through July this year, the number of price hikes was down 36% from that stretch in 2015. Still, there were 37 price hikes for every decrease in the first seven months of 2019.

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