DRUG PRICES TO RISE

Novartis, MSD, Allergan were among the companies that raised U.S. prices on more than 100 prescription medicines. As of the beginning of 2020 more than 445 drugs have increased in price.

This is the most significant price escalation for drugs in the USA over the past five years. Previously, the list of drugs that rose in price at the beginning of the calendar year did not exceed 404 drug items. Nearly all of the price increases are below 10%, with the average price increase is around 5%.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis raised prices on nearly 30 drugs including Cosentyx for psoriasis treatment and multiple sclerosis medicine Gilenya. Most of those increases were in the range of 5.5% to 7%. According to Novartis representative, despite the price rise of about 7 percent of its U.S. medicines the prices are expected to be decreased by 2.5% in 2020 as the result of applying all the discounts and rebates.

U.S. drugmaker Merck approved a decision to raise prices on about 15 drug items, including diabetes medicines Januvia and Janumet showing an increase of around 5%. The best-selling immunotherapy drug Keytruda went up 1.5%.

Allergan also pushed up the prices on 25 drugs by 5% and on two more medicines by 2-3%. But as the manufacturers claim, the net price at medicines would actually remain at the same level in 2020 after applying all the discounts.

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