Bernstein Analyst Ronny Gal says there are solid data points which provide a foundation for the argument some drug companies raise prices “because they can,” not because they’re working to keep up with pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and rebates.
According to a report by Gal, Amgen increased the price of Blincyto twice so far this year. The first price hike to the tune of 4 percent was implemented in January, with a second 3.9 percent increase in late June. The cost has risen by roughly 8 percent since the start of the year.
Teva also raised the price on its Treanda twice so far this year. The cost of Treanda rose by 3 percent in January and 4.5 percent July 1, for a total price increase of roughly 7.5 percent since January 1.
According to a FiercePharma report, both drugs treat variations of leukemia. Treanda also treats non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
A spokesperson with Teva said the price of Treanda is “reflective of the value it provides to patients, providers and patients in the treatment of [chronic lymphocytic leukemia] and [non-Hodgkin lymphoma] that has progressed.” The drug also comes out a 50 percent discount, the spokesperson said, for patients who receive treatment at hospitals impacted by a government discount program.
Amgen reportedly did not respond to FiercePharma’s request for comment.
“Noticec that in this segment, where rebates are uncommon, drug companies continue to price up at high single digits,” Gal wrote. “This is the strongest data point for those who argue drug companies raise prices ‘because they can’ and not because they are forced to do so by PBMs.”