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BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

No surprise: Drug makers still making plenty of money

Big Pharma wants you to think they’re making a sacrifice by keeping price increases under 10 percent.

Drug makers celebrated the New Year by raising U.S. prices on dozens of medications. Predictable?

Yes.

But Big Pharma also was very careful to hold price increases to just below 10 percent, low enough, they hope, to keep consumers quiet and politicians from acting.

For example, Reuters reports that Allergan Inc. raised prices on 18 drugs – including the dry eye treatment Restasis and irritable bowel syndrome drug Linzess – by 9.5 percent. Drug maker Amgen raised the price on Embrel, a popular drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, by 9.7 percent.

While drug makers may want consumers to think they are making a major sacrifice by capping price increases at 10 percent, the online publication FiercePharma reports there’s still plenty of profit to be made.

For example, drug maker AbbVie stands to make an additional $1 billion from a 9.7 percent increase on U.S. sales of its drug Humira, prescribed for arthritis, Chrohn’s disease and other conditions.

Drug maker AbbVie stands to make an additional $1 billion from a 9.7 percent increase on U.S. sales of its drug Humira

So, what do you think? Are you relieved that Big Pharma is capping price increases at 10 percent? How are you and those you love affected by rising prescription prices? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.