BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More
In 2005, a bottle of 90 Lyrica pills cost $150. Today that same bottle of the nerve-pain drug costs more than $650. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is asking Pfizer to explain this dramatic increase.
“The cost of Pfizer’s drug, Lyrica, has grown tremendously over the past several years,” Wyden wrote in a letter shared with STAT News.
“In 2016 alone, over 850,000 Medicare beneficiaries were prescribed Lyrica resulting in $2.1 billion Medicare spending. The main cause of this increase has been Pfizer’s consistent and egregious price increases.”
I-MAK, a nonprofit focused on how patents affect access to medicine, also takes issue with Pfizer’s pricing of Lyrica. It thinks Lyrica is “a prime example of the type of over-patenting based on trivial inventions that are often used by drug makers in order to artificially extend their commercial exclusivity while raising prices.”
In his letter, Wyden also asks Pfizer if Lyrica is on the list of 41 yet-to-be-named drugs that will see a price increase next year. Do you think pharmaceutical companies should disclose why they are raising drug prices? Share your voice.