7 drugs cost US $1.6B more in 2020 without proof of new benefits

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Seven drugs saw net price increases in 2020 without evidence of an additional clinical benefit, which cost the U.S. health system an additional $1.67 billion, according to an analysis published Nov. 16 by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. 

All of the drugs included in the analysis were among the top 250 drugs by 2020 U.S. sales revenue, and all saw list price increases of more than 2 percentage points higher than the rate of medical inflation between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020. 

The institute found that seven of the top 10 drugs with price increases had no new evidence to demonstrate a substantial clinical benefit that was not previously known. 

The price increases of the seven drugs after rebates and other discounts cost the U.S. $1.67 billion. 

"The most extreme of these is Humira, with an ever-escalating U.S. price that contrasts starkly to its falling price in every country where Humira currently faces biosimilar competition,"  David Rind, MD, the institute's chief medical officer, said in a news release. 

The seven drugs, listed in order of the impact of their net price increases on U.S. spending, are:

1. Humira (AbbVie) — 9.6 percent net price increase, $1.4 billion increase in U.S. drug spending

2. Promacta (Novartis) — 14.1 percent net price increase, $100 million increase in U.S. drug spending

3. Tysabri (Biogen) — 4.2 percent net price increase, $44 million increase in U.S. drug spending

4. Xifaxan (Bausch Health) — 3 percent net price increase, $44 million increase in U.S. drug spending

5. Trokendi (Supernus Pharmaceuticals) — 12.4 percent net price increase, $36 million increase in U.S. drug spending

6. Lupron Depot ( AbbVie) — 5.9 percent net price increase, $30 million increase in U.S. drug spending

7. Krystexxa (Horizon Pharmaceuticals) — 5.2 percent net price increase, $19 million increase in U.S. drug spending

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