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Newly launched U.S. drugs head toward record-high prices in 2022

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Median annual price for new U.S. drugs this year is $257,000. Eight of 13 drugs launched in 2022 priced over $200,000 per year. Some drugmakers disclose less information on pricing.

Drugmakers are launching new medicines at record-high prices this year, a Reuters analysis has found, highlighting their pricing power even as Congress moves to cut the $500 billion-plus annual bill for prescription drugs in the United States.

At the same time, some pharmaceutical manufacturers are disclosing less information about the pricing of those treatments, which have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, Reuters found.

"In the U.S. we allow drug manufacturers to freely set prices for all brand-name drugs," Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Reuters.

The median annual price of 13 novel drugs approved for chronic conditions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so far this year is $257,000, Reuters found.

They were in good company: seven other newly-launched drugs were priced above

$200,000. Three other drugs launched in 2022 are used only intermittently and were not included in the calculation.

Last year, the median annual price rose to $180,000 for the 30 drugs first marketed through mid-July 2021, according to a study published recently in JAMA.

While the Reuters tally does not completely replicate the work of that study, it shows that the direction of new drug prices continues to be on the rise.

The JAMA study also excluded drugs that are used intermittently. It included an adjustment for the fact that drugs for very rare diseases have higher prices, which Reuters did not.




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