AP investigation: Drug prices going up despite Trump promise
A major Associated Press investigation into drug prices cites West Health Institute’s recent survey on ‘unreasonable’ pharmaceutical costs.
September 24, 2018
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump made reducing drug prices a key promise during his election campaign, repeatedly accusing drugmakers of “getting away with murder.” At the end of May, he promised that drug companies would be announcing “massive” voluntary drug price cuts within two weeks.
That hasn’t happened, and an Associated Press analysis of brand-name prescription drug prices shows it’s been business as usual for drugmakers, with far more price hikes than cuts. The number of increases slowed somewhat and were not quite as steep as in past years, the AP found…
Among the AP’s findings:
—There were fewer price increases this year from January through July than in comparable prior-year periods, but companies still hiked prices far more often than they cut them. This year through the end of July, there were 4,412 brand-name drug price increases and 46 price cuts, a ratio of 96-to-1.
—In June and July, right after Trump’s price cut prediction, there were 395 price increases and 24 decreases. The two dozen cuts were up from the 15 decreases in those same two months last year, but increases still outpaced decreases by a ratio of 16.5-to-1.
—The median price increase, meaning half were higher and half lower, was 5.2 percent in June and July of 2018, down from 8 percent in that period in 2017.
—The median price cut this June and July was 11 percent, much smaller than in comparable periods in prior years.
Meanwhile, 77 percent of Americans consider U.S. prescription drug costs “unreasonable” and fewer than a quarter approve of how Trump is addressing the problem, according to a mid-August national poll of 1,002 adults from West Health Institute, a nonpartisan health care research group ….