Top-Selling Prescription Drugs Have Seen Huge Price Hikes

Martin Shkreli, CEO Reviled for Drug Price Gouging, Arrested on Securities Fraud Charges
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, exits federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Photographer: Louis Lanzano/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Louis Lanzano — Bloomberg via Getty Images

In recent months, Valeant and Turing Pharmaceuticals have been in the news for jacking up the prices of drugs. But it turns out these companies weren’t the only ones.

In a survey of some 3,000 brand-name prescription drugs, 60 drugs had their prices more than double since December 2014. Prices more than quadrupled for 20 drugs, according to Bloomberg.

The survey — conducted by DRX, a health-care pricing tech firm– comes days before a Thursday House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on drug price increases. According to House documents, prices for the top-selling 30 prescription drugs increased by 76% between 2010 and 2014.

Soon after the new year, drug-makers including Pfizer (PFE), Allergan (AGN) and Amgen (AMGN) raised the prices for dozens of drugs by around 10%, according to The Wall Street Journal. Drugs including Viagra and pain medication Lyrica saw increases of 12.9% and 9.4%, respectively.

Martin Shkreli, Turing’s former CEO, became the poster child for drug price gouging when he raised the price of Daraprim by 5000%. Shkreli, who faces fraud charges in another case, was subpoenaed to testify before Congress but he has said he plans to plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. In an interview with Fox Business News Tuesday morning, Shkreli said, “I would love to talk to Congress. I would berate them. I would insult them.”


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