New report from Rep. Katie Porter exposes Big Pharma’s introductory price abuse

WASHINGTON—MP Katie Porter (D-CA) today released a report documenting how Big Pharma priced new drugs ever higher to line its pockets. The report, “Skyrocketing: How Big Pharma Exploits Launch Prices to Cash in on Cancer,” analyzes price and expenditure data to expose how newly launched cancer drug prices put patients and taxpayers at risk.

“Our report is clear: the prices set by big pharma for new treatments show that these companies view cancer more as a business opportunity than a life-threatening disease,” said Porter, a longtime consumer protection attorney. “For Congress to maximize the Inflation Reduction Act’s protections for patients and taxpayers, we must redouble our efforts to address corporate abuses in drug pricing. Our office’s new report sets a framework for future reforms to address another major driver of high pharmaceutical costs: rising introductory prices for new drugs.”

Read the report: Skyrocketing: How big pharma launches prices to profit from cancer.

Using the example of cancer drugs, MP Porter’s report found that:

  • Introductory prices for cancer drugs are skyrocketing. From 2017 to 2021, the inflation-adjusted average introductory price of self-administered cancer drugs — the types of drugs typically prescribed under Medicare Part D — rose more than 25% to more than 235 $000 per year. When this analysis is expanded to include certain other cancer drugs, such as those given as infusions, the data shows that the average introductory price increased by 53% to $283,000 per year.
  • High introductory prices disproportionately hurt the elderly, the uninsured, and the underinsured. Analyzing Medicare spending data, Congresswoman Porter’s report finds that soaring introductory prices are driving up taxpayer spending on expensive cancer drugs, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars and hurt people in many ways. disproportionate to uninsured, underinsured, or Medicare patients.
  • Addressing soaring introductory drug prices will maximize patient protection and taxpayer savings through the Inflation Reduction Act. Congresswoman Porter’s report shows how the IRA will help patients afford the drugs they need, showing how the law’s out-of-pocket expense cap could save some cancer patients more than $10 $000 a year on expensive drugs. As the Biden administration implements this transformative legislation to protect patients and taxpayers from Big Pharma greed, Porter’s report calls for additional measures to maximize the law’s benefits and address the next frontier of soaring drug prices: introductory prices.

Congresswoman Porter has fought tirelessly to hold Big Pharma accountable on behalf of patients. A version of her proposal holding Big Pharma liable for unreasonable price hikes became law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. As a member of the supervisory committee, she has facing the CEOs of Big Pharma directly on soaring prescription drug costs. Bring to called for investigations of industry influence on drug approvals, including for high priced drugs placed on the market under the accelerated approval pathway.

Read the full report HERE.


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