Pfizer Hikes Prices of More Than 100 Drugs
At the beginning of the year, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer raised prices in the U.S. for more than 100 of its drugs, some by as much as 20 percent, according to statistics compiled by global information services company Wolters Kluwer.
The company, which is planning a $160-billion merger with Ireland-based Allergan Plc to drastically reduce its U.S. tax costs, confirmed a 9.4 percent increase for heavily advertised pain drug Lyrica, which generated $2.3 billion in 2014 U.S. sales; a 12.9 percent increase for erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, which had 2014 U.S. sales of $1.1 billion; and a 5 percent increase for Ibrance, a breast cancer drug launched last year--with a list price of $9,850 per month, or $118,200 per year.
U.S. lawmakers, and presidential candidates have stepped up criticism of U.S. drug price trends, driven in part by startling price hikes from companies with recently acquired generic drugs.
"Medicines are among the most effective and efficient use of private and public health care dollars," Pfizer said in a statement. "It is important to note that the list price does not reflect the considerable discounts offered to the government, managed care organizations, and commercial health plans and certain programs that restrict any increases above the inflation rate."
Pfizer is certainly not the only drug maker to raise prices. Research firm Truveris found that U.S. prescription drug prices rose 10.9 percent in 2014, including a 15 percent increase for brand-name products.
The planned Pfizer/Allergan deal -- which would create the world's largest drug manufacturer and shift Pfizer's headquarters to Ireland -- would also be the biggest-ever instance of a U.S. company re-incorporating overseas to lower its taxes.
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