California Finds Drugmakers Increased List Prices Way Above Inflation

October 7, 2019

Drugmakers increased the list prices of their drugs far beyond the inflation rate between 2017 and the first quarter of 2019, California found in a first-of-its kind study of 1,020 drugs based on the state’s mandatory wholesale price reporting requirements.

The average increase in the wholesale acquisition cost — the manufacturers’ list prices for wholesalers or direct purchasers — was 25.8 percent between 2017 and Q1 2019, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

The least expensive prescription drugs, priced at under $100, experienced the largest three-year increase of 37.6 percent. The annual inflation rate over the same period was two percent.

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