Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 3.
New year, same old appetite by drug companies to raise prices.
A bunch of specialty pharma companies just boosted prices on key therapies for the year ahead, with Allergan (AGN) among the most notable after CEO Brent Saunders in September publicly condemned companies in the sector for aggressive or predatory price increases.
The pricing on nine Allergan products effectively increased on Jan. 1, but the company did remain within its promise to limit price increases to a single-digit percentage as promised in the fall. Pricing on each of the products will be increased by either 9% or 9.5%, according to a Jefferies report on Tuesday that notes a lag of several weeks is typical before new pricing is reflected.
Allergan's "social contract with patients" was revealed in a September blog post by the chief executive in the wake of public outcry around drugmakers such as Mylan (MYL) for its anticompetitive measures to boost rates for its EpiPen used to save the lives of individuals suffering an allergic reaction.
"The price increases are the first since the Social Contract was introduced in September 2016 and they are consistent with its commitments," Allergan spokesman Mark Marmur wrote in an email Tuesday morning, adding that this will be the only increase in 2017 for these brands.
The basket of key brands victim to price increases at Allergan this year include Bystolic, Delzicol, Estrace, Lo Loestrin Fe, Lumigan, Minastrin, Linzess, Namenda XR and Restasis.
Earlier on Tuesday, the company in response to a tweet by TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein that noted 2017 drug price increases, replied:"@adamfeuerstein we raised prices for 2017 all single digits & net increase '17 vs '16 expected to be ~2-3% post discounts/rebates $AGN 1of2."