ICER Report Finds Over $800 Million in Clinically Unsupported Drug Price Hikes During 2021

Seven of the 10 drugs with the highest estimated overall cost to the U.S. health care system in 2021 saw price hikes that were unsupported by new clinical evidence, according to the latest edition of the Unsupported Price Increase Report prepared by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The report may be the one of the last to document business as usual for the pharmaceutical industry: Starting in 2023, as a result of this year’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), drug companies will face pressure from Medicare to restrict price hikes.

The seven drugs introduced $801 million in “incremental added costs to U.S. payers in 2021,” according to the report . ICER also separately identified three Medicare Part B drugs with clinically unsupported price increases. Three of the named drugs also appeared in last year’s report: Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Xifaxan (rifaximin); Novartis AG’s Promacta (eltrombopag); and Horizon Pharma plc’s Krystexxa (pegloticase), which was on 2021’s Part B list and 2020’s main list.

© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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