J&J hikes list prices on approximately 12 drugs by an average of 4.2%.
Many pharmaceutical companies have raised prices since the beginning of 2019. By January 2nd, prices on 250 prescription drugs had been hiked. That number nearly doubled by January 10, reaching 490, according to Rx Savings.
Johnson & Johnson has pushed the total over 500 with price increases on approximately two dozen of its drugs. According to the company, the average increase in the list prices for these drugs is 4.2%, but the overall net price paid by patients will actually decline, due to rebates and discounts offered by payers. J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz said no other prices hikes are planned by the company in 2019.
Included in the list of drugs with higher prices are top-selling products Stelara (a psoriasis treatment), Zytiga (a prostate cancer drug) and Xarelto (a blood thinner).
Drug prices in the United States are higher than in many countries where governments control costs either directly or indirectly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed policy changes designed to reduce drug prices and ensure that patients receive more of the discounts negotiated by health insurers. It does not grant direct authority to government health agencies to negotiate prices and would not have any impact in the short term.
On the same day that J&J announced the price hikes, Democrats in Congress introduced a new bill intended to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for American consumers.