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Drugmaker hikes prices even after getting $1 billion from U.S. taxpayers

health care spendingReceiving more than $1 billion from U.S. taxpayers to develop a COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t stopped one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies from hiking prices on their other drugs.

The Los Angeles Times reports that AstraZeneca boosted prices not once but twice.

Analysis by The Times and 46brooklyn Research, a nonprofit that studies the pharmaceutical industry, finds that AstraZeneca raised prices on some of its best-selling medicines by 6 percent this year. Consider that the overall inflation rate is only 1 percent.

AstraZeneca, based in Britain, is a major player in U.S. markets. The company declined to discuss its pricing practices with the newspaper, instead releasing the standard, Big Pharma statement touting its assistance programs for patients who are unable to afford their prescription drugs.

The company has said it will not seek to profit from a COVID-19 vaccine. However, the Times notes that this claim cannot be verified, and it’s not clear whether the company might raise vaccine prices after the worst of the pandemic passes.

Has the cost of your prescription medications continued to rise, even during the pandemic? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.