Bristol-Myers, Gilead, Biogen, Other Drugmakers Increased U.S. List Prices on Jan. 1: Report

Nearly all the price increases were less than 10%, with the median rise around 5%, a media report said.
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Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Report, Gilead Sciences (GILD) - Get Report,  Biogen (BIIB) - Get Report, and other pharmaceutical companies on Wednesday increased their U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs, bringing the total New Year's Day drug-price increases to more than 250.

Reuters, citing data analyzed by health-care-research firm 3 Axis Advisors, said nearly all the price increases were less than 10%, with the median increase around 5%.

Bristol-Myers, New York, said in a statement it would not raise list prices on its drugs by more than 6% this year, Reuters said.

Gilead said in a statement that it was increasing list prices by 4.9% across its HIV portfolio "to reflect the rising costs of goods and services necessary to produce groundbreaking medicines."

"We do not anticipate that this change will affect access to our medicines," the statement said. "The list price of a medication does not reflect the actual costs borne by patients or health systems. Both public and private payers receive significant rebates on the medicine’s list price."

Biogen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares of Bristol-Meyers and Biogen were down, while Gilead shares were up.

BMY lifted prices on 10 drugs, including 1.5% on cancer immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy and 6% on the blood thinner Eliquis.

Bristol-Myers also raised the price on Celgene’s flagship multiple-myeloma drug, Revlimid, by 6%. In November, Bristol-Myers said it had completed its $74 billion acquisition of Celgene.

Gilead. Foster City, Calif., raised prices on more than 15 drugs, including HIV treatments Biktarvy and Truvada less than 5%, Reuters said, citing data from 3 Axis. 

Price increases at Biogen, Cambridge, Mass., included a 6% hike on multiple-sclerosis treatment Tecfidera.

The U.S. leaves drug pricing to market competition. Prices are higher in the U.S. than in other countries, where governments directly or indirectly control the costs. The U.S. is thus the world’s most lucrative market for manufacturers.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to work to reduce prices of prescription drugs. 

He last month tweeted that “[H]ard-working Americans don’t deserve to pay such high prices for the drugs they need. We are fighting DAILY to make sure this HAPPENS.”