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During 2019, drug makers raised prices on seven widely used medicines by substantial amounts without any new clinical evidence to justify the increases, leading patients and insurers in the U.S. to spend an added $1.2 billion that year, according to a new analysis.

For instance, Salix Pharmaceuticals raised the price on Xifaxan, its irritable bowel disease treatment, by 13%, after accounting for rebates, discounts and other fees, which led to an extra $173 million in spending had the company not raised the price. And Amgen (AMGN) boosted the price of its Enbrel medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments by 8.9%, after rebates and fees, which cost the U.S. health care system an extra $403 million.


“Among the drugs responsible for the biggest spending in the U.S., we continue to see year-over-year increases, despite the fact that these drugs do not have any evidence of substantial new benefits,” said David Rind, chief medical officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, which conducted the analysis. “And it’s not obvious why that should be happening.”

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  • Ed, You get it !! It’s very simple, as you know PCMA defines drug rebates as “a tool for proper placement on drug formularies.”
    The larger the “drug Rebate” the higher tier the drug will be on the drug formulary. This is pure extortion by the PBM’s to have
    a Mfg’s drug to be covered on a patient’s drug plan. If the drug is not on formulary it’s very unlikely the patient will pay for it.
    The PBM’s know that and are taking advantage of that fact. The solution is simple, GET RID OF THE PBM’s !!!!
    We’ll all save billion’s of dollars!!

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