A new report has found that pharma companies increased the prices of seven popular medications in 2017 and 2018 with no clinical evidence of their safety and efficacy.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a Boston-based research group, found in the report that a rise in drug price has increased the cost to patients and insurers to up to $5 billion.
Investigators looked at prices of the seven popular medications by sales revenue.
According to ICER, “new evidence must provide information different from what was previously believed in order to support a price increase.”
The report found that none of the seven drugs analyzed showed clinical evidence of improved safety or efficacy.
Lower prescription drug price is a bipartisan issue and it could be difficult to analyze how much patients pay.
The drug’s list price does not include the discounts negotiated with patient assistance programs or health insurers, which is often much more than what patients pay.
The ICER report considered the total drug spending cost by Americans than per-unit cost.
Humira for arthritis, Rituxan for cancer, Lyrica for nerve pain, Truvada for HIV PrEP, and Cialis for Erectile Dysfunction were among the top drugs on the list.
Humira was on the top, with Americans spending around $1.8 billion, while Rituxan followed Humira, with people spending around $806 million from 2017 to 2018.
However, the manufacturers refuted the findings made by the ICER. Some claimed that the investigators did not analyze the value and benefits the medications have demonstrated, while others said there is an issue with the report’s methodology.
President Donald Trump has made reducing drug prices one of his administration’s top priorities. Currently, there are two competing drug-pricing plans in Congress.