Drug-makers didn’t raise list prices for as many drugs in January compared to last year and they initiated fewer hikes of 10% or more, according to analysis by Raymond James & Associates. Although 5.5% of price increases reached the 10% level in January this year, 15% did last year and 20% did 2 years ago.
However, the median drug-price increase held steady compared to last year at 8.9% – far exceeding the U.S. inflation rate of 2%.
Price increases held below 10% can still drive up total drug spending by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Wall Street Journal. AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) raised the list price of its arthritis treatment, Humira, by 8.4% in January, and could bring in as much as $850 million in additional U.S. health-care spending.