Pharma Makers Hike Drug Prices 3.1% in July


The biggest price increase was a 9.5% rise for Zogenix’s Fintepla (fenfluramine), used to treat seizures associated with Dravet syndrome.

Tori Marsh

Tori Marsh

Pharmaceutical manaufacturers raised prices on 52 brand name drugs in Jul, by an average of 3.1%, according to prescription savings company GoodRx. No generic drugs increased in prices this month, Tori Marsh, director of research, wrote on the company’s website.

In January, more than 800 drugs brand and generic increased in price, according to GoodRx.“We saw the largest amount of increases in January 2021 and July 2020 during the pandemic and will likely see a significant amount this year,” Marsh told Managed Healthcare Executive®.

Many of the medications with price increases are specialty drugs or treatments for rare conditions, so they don’t affect a large percentage of patients. However, overall, Marsh said, “Drug price hikes are concerning as they have a trickle effect on consumers.”

GoodRx research shows that 95% of all list price changes have downstream effects on prices that consumers pay at the pharmacy, especially those who purchase their medications without the aid of insurance, Marsh noted. “This makes already expensive drugs even more difficult to afford, resulting in a lack of accessibility and decreased medication adherence as consumers are forced to forego the medications they need due to ever-increasing prices.”

The biggest price increase was a 9.5% rise for Zogenix’s Fintepla (fenfluramine), used to treat seizures associated with Dravet syndrome.

“We are adjusting the price of Fintepla in the U.S. because costs have increased across different aspects of our business since its U.S. launch in July 2020,” Ruth Suter, Zogenix’s vice president of market access & public policy, told Managed Healthcare Executive®. “We believe the price supports the significant value that Fintepla provides through profound seizure reduction and durability of effect demonstrated in many Dravet syndrome patients, in both clinical trials and real-world use, relative to other anti-epileptic therapies.”

The price change also allows Zogenix to continue offering support programs to ensure access to Fintepla, such as its new global access program, Marsh said. The increases will also help the manufacturer to continue investing in the development of Fintepla as a potential treatment for other severe, rare epilepsies and to continue studying other potentially transformative therapies—such as gene therapy for Dravet syndrome and other treatment-resistant rare epilepsies, she added.

Overall, none of the July price hikes resulted in tier changes, according to Marsh, but that will likely change in the new year when new formularies are released. “With that said, we are continuing to monitor price hikes throughout the month and may see a change here as new data comes in,” she said.

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