On January 12, 2021, ICER published our latest report on Unsupported Price Increases (UPI) of prescription drugs in the United States. Among the top drugs with price increases in 2019 that had substantial effects on US spending, ICER determined that seven of 10 lacked adequate new evidence to demonstrate a substantial clinical benefit that was not yet previously known. The 2019 unsupported price increases on these seven treatments, even after pharmaceutical rebates and other concessions, cost the US health system an additional $1.2 billion beyond what would have been spent if their net prices had remained flat.
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ICER’s Chief Medical Officer David Rind, MD:
“Thanks in part to increased public scrutiny on annual price hikes, higher pharmaceutical rebates, and an uptick in generic drug utilization, average net prices on brand-name drugs have remained relatively stable in the US over the past two years. However, there remain many high-cost brand drugs that continue to experience significant annual price hikes, even after accounting for their rebates. Even more concerning, several of these treatments have been on the market for many years, with scant evidence that they are any more effective than we understood them to be years ago when they cost far less. As state lawmakers continue to pursue legislation that aims to limit drug-price increases when there is no clinical rationale, we hope our UPI reports continue to provide an explicit and independent approach to evaluate the evidence. If new data emerge that show a treatment may be more beneficial than what was previously understood, perhaps some level of price increase is warranted. For seven of the ten high-cost drugs we profiled in this year’s report, however, we found that the price increases lacked such justification.”