4 statistics on 2017 pharma price hikes

 While drugmakers typically raise list prices in January, many companies scaled back price hikes amid rising scrutiny over the cost of prescription drugs, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Here are four things to know.

1. Drug companies increased prices for fewer drugs this year and were more hesitant to make price hikes higher than 10 percent of the drug's current list price, according to the investment firm Raymond James & Associates.

2. About 5.5 percent of the price hikes represented a 10 percent increase of the drug's current list price, compared to 15 percent of price hikes last year and 20 percent two years ago, according to the report.

3. However, the median drug-price increase was 8.9 percent in XX, which is still high above the U.S. inflation rate of about 2 percent.

4. WSJ notes even price increases below 10 percent can boost total drug spending by hundreds of millions of dollars. AbbVie's best-selling arthritis drug Humira had U.S. sales of $10.4 billion in 2016. The drugmaker in January increased Humira's list price by 8.4 percent, which could translate into as much as $850 million in additional U.S. healthcare spending if usage trends remain consistent.

More articles on supply chain:

Why pharmacists can't speak up when they know customers are overpaying for drugs
LCMC Health partners with The Resource Group for supply chain services
Pharma leaders, healthcare experts advocate value-based payments for drugs

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