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Amid continued political pressure on the pharmaceutical industry, a new analysis finds that brand-name drug makers increased their wholesale prices by 2.3% in the first quarter of this year, a much smaller boost than 3.2% hike that occurred during the same time a year ago.

Meanwhile, after subtracting allowances such as rebates and discounts, net prices paid by health plans fell by 2.6%, compared with a 3.7% decline in last year’s first quarter, according to SSR Health, which tracks the pharmaceutical industry. Looked at another way, the discounts off wholesale prices reached 50.4%, which is the highest level in a decade. The figures were adjusted for inflation.

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  • Big fan of everything STAT and particularly Ed’s stuff but I did spot a concern in here. After referencing an overall decrease in net prices that last two years (-2.6%, -3.7%), you refer two separate times (last sentence of paragraph 6, first of paragraph 7) to “higher” or an “increase” in net prices. Was this by mistake or am I missing a more granular point somewhere?

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the note. And good catch. I was moving a little too fast for my own good and reversed the wording. I’ve now updated. Appreciate you writing.

      ed at pharmalot

  • Why is it that the rebates provided by drug companies never passed on directly to those patients taking the drugs? I would be ecstatic if my monthly exceedingly hight cost meds I take for my heart conditions and type 2 diabetes are discounted by 50%! Reduction to my monthly premium for my Medicare supplement Part D plans is peanuts compared to my deductibles and copays! The donut hole has not been addressed at all by the politicians all!

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