WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and colleagues in standing up to Big Pharma after two recent analyses revealed troubling, widespread, and rapid price increases for brand name drugs in January 2022.
The lawmakers, in a letter to the CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) industry group, wrote, “These evaluations suggest rapid price hikes affecting the vast majority of popular brand name drugs, particularly those used by seniors and people with disabilities in the Medicare program. These analyses reveal that drug manufacturers are using their market power to impose extraordinary price increases, which also have the effect of driving up general inflation.”
As evidence of Big Pharma’s abuse, the lawmakers point to a study out of Johns Hopkins that found that manufacturers increased prices for 16 out of the top 20 Medicare Part D drugs this January. For example, the manufacturer of the common brand name drug Humira increased its price from $8,952 per month to $9,615 per month – which will result in patients paying an additional $7,950 for Humira over the course of a year.
“These price increases are deeply troubling, especially when considering that many of these products have been on the market for several years (and sometimes decades) and have exceeded their patent life and market exclusivity period. Many of these companies also enjoyed massive profits in 2021,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers pressed PhRMA to explain the source of these price increases and what profits were reaped as a result.
Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to stand up to Big Pharma and lower health care costs for Granite Staters. The Senator led successful, bipartisan efforts with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to help end the practice of surprise medical billing. Senators Hassan and Cassidy also successfully passed into law their bipartisan legislation to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower drug costs. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan, which Senator Hassan helped pass into law, is helping to lower health care costs for many Granite Staters who purchase health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
To read the lawmakers’ letter, click here.