One of Donald Trump’s promises was to make life-saving drugs more accessible by making them more affordable. However, a recent analysis shows that drug companies are hiking the prices of their treatments instead of lowering them.
More drug companies raised their drug prices in the past year than cut them, according to the Associated Press. Data provided by health information analytics firm Elsevier was parsed by the Associated Press, finding that there have been fewer price increases compared to past years, and the price hikes have been lower than in previous years.
However, companies raise prices far more often than they cut them. About 96 percent of drugs increased in price for every one price cut that happened between January and July. This has followed an upward trajectory of medical costs in the past decade, putting a pinch on consumers who have not seen wages keep up with these hikes.
For example, prices for the Novartis cancer drug Gleevec rose by 440 percent. It went from $26,000 and jumped to $40,000. This occurred between 2001 and 2017. While the prices of life-saving drugs like these increase, the US middle class had $17,867 less income in 2007 because of the growth of inequality since 1979. Wages aren’t keeping up with these massive price hikes, and consumers are being priced out of these medical tools.
Trump has made cutting drug prices a major priority during his campaign for the presidency. He blasted the pharmaceutical industry for “getting away with murder” with steep drug prices. At the end of May 2018, he promised that drug companies would be announcing “massive” voluntary drug price cuts within the next two weeks.
Nothing happened. But after his prediction, there were 395 price increases and only 24 decreases. Compared to the same two months last year, when there were only 15 price cuts, the 24 price cuts is an improvement, but increases have largely outpaced decreases, the AP analysis found.
In July, Trump called out Pfizer for raising their prices. The company responded by promising that they will not increase costs for the rest of 2018, with the Trump administration taking credit for the move.
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