Pharmaceutical companies raise prices well above inflation

Pharmaceutical companies in the United States have a pricing policy that harms the most vulnerable, unable to access essential medicines, concluded a congressional investigation published this Friday.
Investigators zeroed in on 10 manufacturers they accuse of raising drug prices at nearly four times the rate of inflation over the past five years.

"The committee's investigation revealed that drug prices are unfair and unjustified and are always on the rise," Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, coordinator of that work that lasted three years, said at a press conference.
Americans spend about $11.000 a year on health, the highest level in the entire industrialized world. Medicines represent a substantial part of that expense.
The 269-page report, produced by the Democratic-majority House Oversight Committee, offers what Maloney described as a "rare glimpse" into the tactics of the world's most profitable drugmakers.
For 12 drugs that the committee examined, pharmaceutical companies have increased prices more than 250 times since 2016, the deputy said.
record profits
Companies in the sector "have made record profits at the expense of the lives of diabetics and other people who suffer from chronic diseases and need drugs to survive," he added.
According to its authors, this research "confirms that in the US the pharmaceutical industry has aimed to increase prices for many years while maintaining or reducing them in the rest of the world."
He gives the example of Pfizer's Lyrica pain reliever, which costs four times what it cost in 2004, and accuses the laboratories of modifying drugs to obtain a new patent and raising the price of the product.
The report rejects the drugmakers' position that price increases support development, and that they have used a significant portion of the funding they receive to "suppress competition."
Democrats hope the report will weigh in on congressional debate over President Joe Biden's $1,75 trillion Build Back Better welfare bill, which will be introduced in the Senate in the coming weeks.
If that plan is approved, patients who receive care under the state Medicare device will be able to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers the price of some drugs, including cancer treatments.
The government project imposes a limit of 35 dollars per month on spending on insulin and sets a maximum of 2.000 dollars per year what Medicare can charge a person for medicines.
The lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) said the bill will not be favorable to patients.
"We know that when government bureaucrats set drug prices, patients ultimately have less access to treatments and cures," said the industrialists.

Miami Daily
Author: Patricia Chung 7:02 am

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