More than 600 drugs had price increases this month

So far this month, pharma makers raised prices on 644 prescription drugs by an average of 5.7%, according to new data from prescription savings service SingleCare.

“We’ve already seen hundreds of prescription medications that will be more expensive in 2022, with the majority being brand drugs, and the most expensive changes being for specialty medications,” said Ramzi Yacoub, Pharm.D., the chief pharmacy officer for SingleCare, in a statement.

The biggest price changes were seen in antiviral and antiasthmatic medications, Yacoub told Formulary Watch®.

GoodRx’s January 2022 Drug Price Increases tracker identified a similar trend in prices: 517 drugs increase in price by an average of 5%.

According to SingleCare, the largest price hikes included: Advanced Accelerator Application’s Luthera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) up $3,552; Ipsen Biopharmaceutical’s Somatuline Depot (lanreotide) up $3,078; Acrotech Biopharma’s Zevalin Y-90 (ibritumomab tiuxetan) up $2,531; Gemzyme’s Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) up $1,868; and Recordati Rare Diseases’ Signifor Lar (pasireotide) up $1,853.

Despite this year’s price hikes, drug prices rose much more steeply (10.6% on average) in last January. “The higher mark by drug manufacturers in January 2021 was likely because of market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yacoub told FormularyWatch®.

The 5% increase is in line with recent years, he added, particularly since many manufacturers promised to keep annual increases under 10%.

“While the manufacturer cost doesn’t directly translate to what the consumer pays at the pharmacy counter, the bottom line is that most consumers should not expect a substantial change in the price of their prescriptions, especially for those filling generic medications,” Yacoub noted.

According to a recent SingleCare survey, nearly half (47%) of Americans said that they’ve either skipped a prescription or a refill in the past year because the price of the drug was too expensive.