No, this isn’t a discourse on recreational drugs. Again, Benefits Pro offers some charming comments on drug prices in 2018.
- In the first half of the year, there were 96 price increases for every one price decrease. This includes price raises on mature products on which there was no new R&D spending. The Epi Pen and insulin are obvious examples.
- When Trump made his statement at mid year that pharma companies were going to reduce prices on drugs, the result was an almost immediate increase in price on 356 drugs.(1)
The advice to insurance agents and brokers — and patients, of course — is to assume these increases will continue unabated in 2019.(1)
Of course, this is just for the US. In other countries, in which drug companies face free market competition, drug prices are much lower than in the US. In the US, where drug companies are top donors to Congressional incumbents, we don’t have a free market — Congress doesn’t allow it.