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

Yes, drug prices are rising during the coronavirus pandemic

Prescription Drug Costs DaraprimLast month we told you that Americans were worried Big Pharma would use COVID-19 as an excuse to raise prescription drug costs.

Now we know they are.

Politico reports drugmakers raised the price of hundreds of medicines during the coronavirus pandemic, even in the face of Trump administration vows to crack down on surging drug costs and efforts to include price controls in COVID-19 financial relief packages.

More than 800 price increases have been logged this year, while 42 medicines have increased in price by an average of 3.3 percent in July so far.

Three treatments for respiratory illnesses but not COVID-19 saw price hikes. Bevespi Aerosphere, Daliresp and Tyvaso increased 5 percent, 6 percent and 4.5 percent respectively in July. Tyvaso’s increase over the year totals 12.8 percent.

“Business as usual is a problem in a pandemic. These price increases contribute nothing to innovation, but greatly to suffering. These aren’t new drugs,” Peter Maybarduk, director of the Global Access to Medicines Program at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, told Politico.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has said that the president could introduce measures soon to address high prescription drug costs.

Do you think drug companies should be raising prescription drug prices during the coronavirus pandemic? Speak out at Voices for Affordable Health.