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A new year often means new prices for pharmaceuticals, and several companies have imposed price hikes just shy of 10 percent on numerous drugs, a move that appears designed to avoid withering scrutiny of companies that take double-digit increases.

One notable example is Allergan, which last year attempted to single-handedly staunch criticism of the pharmaceutical industry by issuing a “social contract” in which it promised to avoid “price gouging” and limit price hikes to single-digit percentage increases.

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