Merck CEO: The problem with health care cost is list price of drugs
Merck CEO Ken Frazier discusses animal health, drug prices and being on top of cancer drugs and Alzheimer’s research.
The price of the most expensive drugs in the United States continues to surge, new research reveals.
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In January, about seven out of 20 of the most expensive drugs on the market increased in price, according to researchers at GoodRX which tracks the most expensive drugs within the United States.
In January, more than 100 manufactures raised the price by 5.2 percent on average for over 600 brand drugs, the research indicates. However, this price increase comes as no surprise. According to the company, its GoodRx List Price Index has seen a jump at the beginning of each year since 2014.
List price is the official price of a drug as determined by the manufacture.
HIGHER DRUG PRICES RING IN THE NEW YEAR FOR MORE THAN 250 PHARMACEUTICALS iStock
Here is the list of the top five most expensive drugs in the country based on the list price, according to GoodRx.
Myalept is manufactured by Amryt Pharma. The drug, self-administered once a day, is used as a leptin replacement. Leptin is a hormone that helps to control certain metabolic processes in those with generalized lipodystrophy, a condition where someone has an abnormal fat distribution in the body, GoodRX explains.
The drug was previously listed for $64,859 before seeing a 9.9 percent increase in January.
A patient will typically use 14 vials of the drug per month. Each vial costs approximately $5,093.
However, commercially insured patients can use a copay card to help with the cost of the drug, GoodRX reported.
Ravicti is manufactured by Horizon Therapeutics. The drug was designed to manage the level of ammonia in the blood of patients with urea cycle disorder. Urea cycle disorders are genetic conditions that result in high levels of ammonia in the blood, according to GoodRX.
The drug can be used to treat a range of individuals from as young as 2 months old to teenagers and adults.
The price of one bottle costs approximately $5,031. Patients will typically use 11 bottles a month.
The manufacturer, however, has a patient assistance program to help them get the drug for free, according to GoodRX.
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Ticker Security Last Change Change % HZNP HORIZON PHARMA PLC 32.22 -2.86 -8.15% Mavenclad: $53,730
Mavenciad is manufactured by EMD Serono Inc., the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA. The drug, which was approved in March of 2019, is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. The drug is taken in two separate treatment courses 12 months apart. Each treatment course costs $53,730.
However, prescription courses can be as little as $0 a prescription thanks to the manufacturer. EMD Serono reportedly offers commercially insured patients a copay card that absorbs the cost.
Actimmune – $52,777
Actimmune is also manufactured by Horizon Therapeutics. The drug is intended to treat osteopetrosis and Chronic granulomatous disease which is a rare disorder that causes the immune system to malfunction, according to GoodRX.
The drug is typically used three times a week. Overall, patients typically go through 11 vials of the drug per month. Each vial now has a list price of $4,797.92 after seeing a 4.8 percent uptick in price in January.
Horizon Therapeutics also offers a patient assistance program to help patients receive the drug for free, GoodRX says.
Ticker Security Last Change Change % HZNP HORIZON PHARMA PLC 32.22 -2.86 -8.15% Oxervate – $48,498
Oxervate is manufactured by the Italian biopharmaceutical company Dompé. The drug is used to treat neurotrophic keratitis, which is a degenerative condition that causes a reduced sensation in the cornea. This is the first drug on the market to treat this condition.
As of January, the price of each vial of the drug costs $1,732.07.
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