Prices of 245 drugs hiked in 6 months

Between January 20 and June 20, drugmakers across the globe raised prices on 245 drugs, including 61 that were used to treat symptoms of the novel coronavirus, according to a new report by Patients for Affordable Drugs.

The report from the patient advocacy group found that the average price increase was 23.8 percent. 

Of the drugs that saw price increases, 61 could be used to treat symptoms of COVID-19, 30 were being tested in clinical trials against the virus, and 181 were drugs used to manage chronic conditions. Some of the affected drugs fell under more than one category.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals hiked the price of Duramorph, an intravenous morphine used to sedate COVID-19 patients on ventilators, by 59 percent in March. Common medications like Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Reglan, which can treat symptoms related to coronavirus, also increased in price by as much as 29 percent.

"Although some price hikes may be attributable to interruptions in global manufacturing supply chains, others can be attributed to opportunistic hikes in the face of steep increases in demand," analysts from Patients for Affordable Drugs wrote.

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