Medicine Prices in the U.S. to Cost More in 2020 as Major Pharmaceutical Brands are Planning to Charge More

The beginning of 2020 in the U.S. has brought financial setback for the Americans, as major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Sanofi SA are expected to increase the cost of over 200 medications, effective from New Year’s Day. The list of drugs that will cost more is yet to be released, and the price hikes are expected to be less than 10% across the board, likely due to politician’s and patient’s pressure. The drugs that are likely to cost more are used for the treatments of respiratory issues, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. The news of the hike in drug prices came immediately after the Trump administration proposed a rule, which would allow cheap medicines to be imported from Canada.

Pfizer spokeswoman Amy Rose said that 43 percent of the drugs with increased pricing are sterile injectables. Besides this, the breast cancer medication Ibrance and arthritis medication Xeljanz manufactured by Pfizer are expected to be 5% expensive. The other pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline will raise prices of around 30 of its products, such as the COPD and asthma medication, Ellipta, along with the cancer drug, Zejula. Pharmaceutical company Sanofi will increase the price of 10 of its drugs.

The hike in the price of the drugs is simply contradicting to the Trump promised, who ensured to reduce the prescription drug prices by the 2020 election. However, none of his proposals have signed into law till now and even there is no federal law to provide a price cap on prescription medication. Insurance plans do not cover some of the medications so Americans are forced to go without medication and as per the Consumer Reports in December, around 23% of Americans chose not to fill a prescription in 2019 due to its expensive price.

The increasing drug price is the major healthcare concern of the Americans, as both lawmakers and Trump administration have failed to address the problem. However, Trump administration tried to unveil a proposal that would allow medications from other countries for the first time to make their way to the U.S and would also allow states to come up with a program to import drugs from Canada. This move has been resisted by Canada and Pharmaceutical representation firm Innovative Medicines Canada said: “Canada cannot supply medicines and vaccines to a market ten times larger than its own population without jeopardizing Canadian supplies and causing shortages.” Even experts of the U.S. have doubts that this will have any impact on drug prices.

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