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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Hernandez I, San-Juan-Rodriguez A, Good CB, Gellad WF. Changes in List Prices, Net Prices, and Discounts for Branded Drugs in the US, 2007-2018. JAMA. 2020 Mar 3; 323(9):854-862.
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Abstract: Importance: Most studies that have examined drug prices have focused on list prices, without accounting for manufacturer rebates and other discounts, which have substantially increased in the last decade. Objective: To describe changes in list prices, net prices, and discounts for branded pharmaceutical products for which US sales are reported by publicly traded companies, and to determine the extent to which list price increases were offset by increases in discounts. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective descriptive study using 2007-2018 pricing data from the investment firm SSR Health for branded products available before January 2007 with US sales reported by publicly traded companies (n? = 602 drugs). Net prices were estimated by compiling company-reported sales for each product and number of units sold in the US. Exposures: Calendar year. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes included list and net prices and discounts in Medicaid and other payers. List prices represent manufacturers' price to wholesalers or direct purchasers but do not account for discounts. Net prices represent revenue per unit of the product after all manufacturer concessions are accounted for (including rebates, coupon cards, and any other discount). Means of outcomes were calculated each year for the overall sample and 6 therapeutic classes, weighting each product by utilization and adjusting for inflation. Results: From 2007 to 2018, list prices increased by 159% (95% CI, 137%-181%), or 9.1% per year, while net prices increased by 60% (95% CI, 36%-84%), or 4.5% per year, with stable net prices between 2015 and 2018. Discounts increased from 40% to 76% in Medicaid and from 23% to 51% for other payers. Increases in discounts offset 62% of list price increases. There was large variability across classes. Multiple sclerosis treatments (n? = 4) had the greatest increases in list (439%) and net (157%) prices. List prices of lipid-lowering agents (n? = 11) increased by 278% and net prices by 95%. List prices of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (n? = 3) increased by 166% and net prices by 73%. List prices of insulins (n? = 7) increased by 262%, and net prices by 51%. List prices of noninsulin antidiabetic agents (n? = 10) increased by 165%, and net prices decreased by 1%. List price increases were lowest (59%) for antineoplastic agents (n? = 44), but discounts only offset 41% of list price increases, leading to 35% increase in net prices. Conclusions and Relevance: In this analysis of branded drugs in the US from 2007 to 2018, mean increases in list and net prices were substantial, although discounts offset an estimated 62% of list price increases with substantial variation across classes.

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