More than half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck (63 percent, to be exact).
Credit card interest rates have risen to an average of more than 20%, making progressives’ efforts to restrict APRs to 36% on short-term, small-dollar loans to those with poor credit appear even more absurd.
Pharmaceutical businesses increased their prices to ring in the New Year, as has been customary.
Citing Fierce Pharma, a journal of the pharma industry:
“Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Sanofi will raise prices for more than 350 branded pharmaceuticals in early January, according to Reuters, citing data and analysis from research firm 3 Axis Advisors and the affiliated drug pricing non-profit 46brooklyn.”
“According to 46brooklyn, the typical percentage increase in the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of brand name pharmaceuticals whose prices have risen in 2023 is 5%. According to the non-profit’s data, that is roughly comparable to the 4.9% median WAC growth the sector experienced in 2022.”
According to 46brooklyn, pharma manufacturers raised the pricing of over 1,400 drugs last year, the most since 2015.
To be fair, 5% is less than the current rate of inflation. But there are a few things to consider.
First, it is the median price increase, not the average price increase. If you look at the data from 46brookyln, you’ll notice that the average price increase is precisely the same as inflation—so, best case scenario, your meds are becoming more costly in line with everything else. Second, it is not the rate that applies to the most often purchased medicine in America, Humira, whose price increased by 8%, is above inflation rates, after increasing 7.4% in January. Keytruda, America’s second-most-purchased medicine, is also becoming 8% more costly this year.
Third, this follows 2022, which was the year with the “highest amount of price hikes since 2015,” according to the research. So we’ve been getting hammered fairly hard for a while now, with no end in sight.
Americans continue to pay exorbitant prices for pharmaceuticals, even when we don’t have much money to spare. The only real checks appear to be Mark Cuban, GoodRX, and the 340B drug discount program, which at the very least gets some drugs into the hands of patients at a lower cost and provides a lifeline for hospitals in rural areas to remain open which pharmaceutical companies, including the big price hikers, are attempting to dismantle.
If anyone thinks this looks like Democrats following through on their drug-pricing pledges, I have a bridge to sell them.