HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s January And It’s Time To Squeeze Some Balls!

Godfather, We’ve Got Plan Sponsors By The Balls! It’s January And It’s Time To Squeeze Again!

SOURCE: antonio@46brooklyn.com

Happy New Year. Welcome back to another action-packed January. The Browns are talking about next year. The Steelers are still in the playoff hunt. New Star Wars content is here. And drug makers are raising their list prices.

It’s a new year, but it’s the same story.

Or is it?

We know it’s been awhile since we’ve chatted, so for the new 46brooklyn followers and the seasoned veterans who may forgotten, January is the prime time for list price increases on brand name medicines.

In fact, since 2018, over 60% of each year’s brand list price increases occurred in the month of January. So since brand drugs make up a small fraction of the medicines we take as Americans but represent the largest amount of spending, understandably, there is a heightened amount of focus and attention to drug price changes that occur at the first of the year.

Patients also are more interested in drug prices in January, since so many Americans are in high-deductible health plans that assume “that all medical spending is the same and that the system should disincentivize all of it, starting over each Jan.1.” For those patients, and those who suffer from a lack of prescription drug coverage, each January, the sticker prices for medicines become a harsh reality.

With that in mind, we reconvene our annual tradition of examining new year brand drug price changes: counting them, analyzing them, contextualizing them, weighting them, hypothesizing what’s driving them to change, and then arguably undermining all of it by stressing the limitations of the examination and even the data itself. In a drug pricing data world riddled with incomplete information, half-truths, and black boxes, such is the life of a drug pricing researcher.

Today, we’re pleased to share our recently updated, refreshed, and relaunched 46brooklyn Brand Drug List Price Change Box Score, where you can track brand drug list price increases and decreases as they hit each week. We also provide numerous ways to contextualize those list price changes in an effort to bring a dash of sobriety to drug pricing narratives and discussions. Do remember that that these are just list prices, and there is much more to the story of drug pricing that lives below these data points. 

In our newly released report, you can read our initial takeaways on the first 2023 brand price changes and also take inventory of how 2022 shook out in the end.

In addition, we take a look at how price trends compare to broader inflation rates and how coming policy changes like the Inflation Reduction Act could impact marketplace behavior now and in the future.

We look forward to providing more updates to all of our tools throughout this month and throughout the rest of the year – and provide new research and insights along the way,

January’s new drug price increases take off without overcompensating for upcoming inflation-linked rebates
Endpoints News, 1/4/23

Drug makers start 2023 with price hikes
Formulary Watch, 1/4/23

Pfizer, GSK, AbbVie and many more celebrate New Year with price hikes: report
Fierce Pharma, 1/4/23

Pharma companies boost drug prices to start year, but hikes lag inflation
BioPharma Dive, 1/3/23

Pharma companies to hike cost of over 350 drugs in 2023: Analysis
NTD News, 1/2/23

Exclusive: Drugmakers to raise prices on at least 350 drugs in U.S. in January
Reuters, 12/30/22

More Blues agree to pay for prescription digital therapies
Modern Healthcare, 11/14/22

How Ohio’s new single pharmacy benefit manager will affect you
Columbus Dispatch, 10/20/22

Vertical integration podcast
Business of Pharmacy Podcast, 10/10/22

Mark Cuban’s drug company teams up with first health insurer
Modern Healthcare, 10/7/22

How will the Inflation Reduction Act impact PBM reform?
PBM Reform Podcast, 10/4/22

Kroger, Express Scripts mired in contract dispute
Modern Healthcare, 10/3/22