Drug companies jack up prices of medications after launch

8/8/2008

NEW YORK Try to imagine the price of a drug going from $16.79 to $593.75.

That’s what Ovation has done with its Wilms’ tumor drug Cosmegen, according to USA Today.

The newspaper reports that several drug companies have increased the prices of drugs by 100 percent or, in some cases, more than 1,000 percent. Cosmegen’s increase constitutes a 3,436 percent increase.

Some companies report that they must increase the prices to keep the drugs financially viable, though an economist who specializes in the pharmaceutical industry told the newspaper that some companies seemed to think nobody would notice, so they could get away with the increases.

Other drugs that experienced large increases included Ovation’s intravenous Indocin, for heart problems in premature babies, which went from $136.10 to $1,875, and infantile spasm drug Acthar, which increased from $1,650 to $23,269.

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