Drug wholesale, net prices increasing at slower rate, study says

Brand-name drugmakers increased wholesale drug prices by 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, less than the 3.2 percent price hike during the first quarter of 2019, STAT reported. 

After subtracting rebates and discounts, net drug prices paid by health plans fell 2.6 percent, compared to a 3.7 percent decline in the first quarter of 2019, according to an analysis from SSR Health, a data and analytics firm that focuses on drug prices. 

Discounts on wholesale drug prices reached 50.4 percent in the first quarter, the highest level in a decade, according to STAT

Drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers have faced increased scrutiny from lawmakers on their pricing practices in the last five years, contributing to the slowing rate of price hikes, STAT reported. 

Drug price hikes began to slow in 2018 when the president began criticizing drugmakers about their costs and Congress began exploring legislation to lower costs, STAT reported. 

But net prices are likely to stop falling and may rise slightly this year, depending on the inflation rate, according to STAT

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