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Study: Nearly Half of New Drugs Cost More Than $150,000 Per Year

An eye-popping study estimates that the prices of new prescription drugs have ballooned 20 percent each year since 2008 — and that nearly half of new drugs on the market last year cost more than $150,000 annually.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed prices of more than 500 brand-name drugs that came on the market between 2008 and 2021. They found the median price of a new drug soared from around $2,100 per year to more than $180,000 per year over that window. And over the past two years, nearly half (47 percent) of new drugs were priced at more than $150,000 per year. Only 9 percent of new drugs carried a comparable price tag in 2008.

The researchers noted that rising brand-name drug prices often lead to insurers “restricting access, raising premiums or imposing unaffordable out-of-pocket costs on patients.”

For years, we’ve been urging federal lawmakers to take action on skyrocketing prescription drug prices. We organized a $4.5 million online and TV advertising and grassroots campaign this year to support legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, penalize drug companies that increase prices faster than inflation, and cap Medicare out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions, among other measures. Our petitions for lower drug prices have been signed by more than 4 million Americans urging Congress to take action.

Read more about the study, and learn how we’re fighting to lower prescription drug prices.

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