While attention is on COVID, drug makers are raising prescription prices

It does every January, and it’s happening this year while attention has been focused on Covid vaccines.

Price increases are higher, as expected, but the percentages aren’t as high in past years, if that’s a consolation, says Antonio (Anthony) Ciaccia, founder of 46brooklyn, a company that monitors drug price increases.

He says while it’s frustrating to think you’re making Big Pharma bigger as your costs increase, they aren’t necessarily pocketing all that money. “Drug makers, in order to have their medication covered by insurance companies, often have to offer discounts and rebates back to insurers and little known middle men known as pharmacy benefit managers in order to obtain coverage,” Ciaccia tells KTRH News.

The problem is systemic, he says, and it’s not just drug prices that are going up. The system comes with many avenues to siphon off funds. “Because drug makers by law are required to offer big discounts to state Medicaid programs, drug makers are seeing more and more of their patients move into the their least profitable bucket of patients.”

Three in ten Americans say there are medications they don’t take because of the cost. Many others skip doses or cut pills in half.

This year is unique though, as policy makers in Washington look at ways to cut health care costs, in that all changes to the cost of medications in the U.S. this year is an increase.

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