Prescription drug costs hiked 20% annually for more than a decade, study finds

Brigham and Women's Hospital uncovered a stark finding in a study published June 7: Prices for new drugs at launch rose 20 percent each year between 2008 and 2021.

The 548 brand-name drugs in the study included treatments for "rare diseases, cancer treatments, and common conditions like diabetes and heart disease," according to the Boston Herald

Drugs costing more than $150,000 a year "spiked from 9% in 2008-2013 all the way to 47% in 2020-2021," the Herald reported. 

The research findings arrived the same day the Federal Trade Commission announced an investigation into pharmacy benefit managers, an industry that's been embroiled in controversy for years about its business practices. 

The business practices for PBMs — which are responsible for valuing drug and treatment prices and are the step between insurers and payers — are "opaque," the FTC said, prompting the investigation.

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