Bayer hikes price of 2 cancer drugs by $1k per month

Although President Donald Trump promised May 31 pharmaceutical companies would announce "massive" drug price cuts, drugmaker Bayer increased the list prices of two cancer drugs by more than $1,000 per month, according to The Washington Post.

On May 11, President Trump presented his long-awaited blueprint to combat rising drug prices and on May 31 he said pharmaceutical companies will significantly lower drug prices over the next few weeks.  

However, instead of decreasing the price of its drugs, Bayer increased the list price for Stivarga and Nexavar by 8 percent, which is the second price increase for the two cancer drugs in six months. Even before the latest price increase, patients and advocates criticized the hefty price tag of the two drugs.

Strivarga, used to treat colorectal, liver and gastrointestinal cancers, now costs $16,860 per month, and Nexavar, used to combat kidney, liver and thyroid cancers, costs about $18,670 per month.

"That is an exceptionally bold move to increase prices by over $1,000 a month on an already expensive set of cancer treatments, given the political context," Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, associate professor of cancer research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told The Post.

Despite criticism, Bayer defended the price increase.

"We have to balance current operations, ensure broad access to novel medicines for patients and continue development of more life-saving and life-changing medicines,” Christopher Loder, a spokesperson for Bayer, told The Post. “In addition, Bayer offers numerous programs for patients who cannot afford their medicines."

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