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During 2021, drugmakers substantially raised prices on seven widely used medicines without any new clinical evidence to justify the increases, leading patients and health insurers in the U.S. to spend an additional $805 million last year, according to a new report.

The drug for which spending increased the most due to a price increase was Xifaxan, which is used to treat both irritable bowel syndrome and a complication of cirrhosis. Salix Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Bausch Health, raised the wholesale price by 7.9%. The net price — after rebates and discounts — rose by 12%, most likely because the company offered fewer concessions than previously.


Consequently, spending for this drug climbed by $174.7 million, according to the report issued by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit that assesses the cost effectiveness of medicines. The report noted that the manufacturer disputed the net price and budget impact, which was provided by the SSR Health market research firm, but did not provide corrected estimates.

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