04 Mar Discounts Linked to Widening Gap Between List and Net Drug Prices
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Inmaculada Hernandez, PharmD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics
University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Prior research found that list prices of drugs more than doubled in the last decade. However, because prior research was based on list prices, it did not account for manufacturer discounts, which have also increased in the past few years.
We leveraged net pricing data from the investment firm SSR health to estimate increases in drug prices after accounting for discounts.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that, after adjusting for inflation, list prices increased by 159% in 2007-2018, and net prices by 60%. Discounts offset 62% of increases in list prices. In other words, there is a widening gap between list and net prices due to increasing discounts. After accounting for discounts, net prices increased every year by an average of 4.5 percentage points or 3.5 times faster than inflation
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Although discounts partially offset increases in list prices, net prices still increased every year by an average of 4.5 percentage points or 3.5 times faster than inflation. The widening gap between list and net prices may be increasing disparities in health care access, because underinsured and uninsured patients are exposed to list prices.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should assess to what extent discounts are passed on to patients and how competition affects trends in discounts.
Any disclosures? Hernandez discloses scientific advisory board fees from Pfizer, outside of the submitted work. Chester Good is a current employee of the Insurance Services Division, UPMC Health Plan.
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