Amid intensifying anger over the rising cost of medicines, a key piece of data has been missing from the debate — the actual prices after accounting for rebates and discounts offered by drug makers to payers. Now, a new analysis has come up with some numbers and the results are illuminating: Over a recent 11-year period, net prices for hundreds of drugs rose 60%, which was 3.5 times the inflation rate.
Here are the numbers: From 2007 to 2018, list prices on 602 medicines rose by 159%, or 9% per year. However, after accounting for rebates and discounts, net prices for the same drugs increased by 60%, or 4.5% per year. Overall, discounts offset an estimated 62% of list price increases, although this varied substantially among different types of drugs.