January's first drug price hikes average 6.3%: 5 notes

At least three dozen drugmakers started the year by raising the prices of hundreds of medicines by an average of 6.3 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Here are five things to know:

1. Setting the pace was Allergan, which increased the price of 51 products,  more than half of its drug portfolio. Of the 51 price hikes, 27 price tags were increased by 9.5 percent, and  24 were increased 4.9 percent. Allergan had the most increases of more than 9 percent.

2. In 2016, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders said Allergan would only raise prices once a year and keep those  increases under 10 percent. Last year in January, Allergan applied price increases just below 10 percent on some of its products.

3. Among generic drugmakers hiking the prices of medications, Hikma Pharmaceuticals raised the price of morphine by 10 percent, an anesthetic ketamine by 20 percent and a blood pressure medication enalapril by 30 percent, according to the report. A spokesperson for Hikma, Steve Weiss, told the WSJ that the increases for the three drugs came to less than $1 per vial.

4. Other price hikes were more modest, with GlaxoSmithKline raising the price of 36 drugs by less than 3 percent.

5. Overall, however, the average price increase of 6.3 percent in the U.S.  exceeds inflation.

Read the full report here.


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