Saturday, 4 August 2018

Bloomberg Tracking Pharmaceutical Prices

One way the Trump Administration appears to attempt to control drug prices is through use of the “bully pulpit.”  Wikipedia states that the “bully pulpit”: “is a conspicuous position that provides an opportunity to speak out and be listened to. This term was coined by United States President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to his office as a "bully pulpit", by which he meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda.”  
President Trump has used strong language to apparently shame pharmaceutical companies from raising drug prices.  Indeed, two pharmaceutical companies announced they would not raise prices for their drugs.  Those two examples make great headlines for President Trump, but are drug prices as a whole getting lower in the United States.  Bloomberg seeks to answer that question and is tracking the pricing of "widely used" and "well known" drugs across several different disease categories and updating that information as time passes.  Notably, prices (excluding Pfizer's drugs, who announced it would not raise prices) appear to be moving up.  Interestingly, the price increases are mostly hovering around 9% to 10%.  Also, the prices tracked by Bloomberg do not include the rebates that are provided by pharmaceutical companies, but are the list prices.  
The Trump Administration is moving on other fronts to try to control drug prices, but many experts state that some of those attempts will not impact the cost of drugs in the United States by much.  It will be interesting to see if actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration discussed here will make a significant difference.  

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