Pfizer Inc has hiked the price of nearly a hundred drugs by an average of 20 percent so far this year in the United States, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The U.S drugmaker raised the list price of 91 medicines – including that of its erectile dysfunction treatment, Viagra, and its pain drug, Lyrica – on June 1 by 5-13 percent, according to figures seen by the Financial Times.
Pfizer had also raised prices in January and, including those hikes, the average price of many of its drugs has risen by 20 percent this year, the FT said.
“For Pfizer’s U.S. biopharma business, as of the first quarter, the weighted average net selling price increase year-to-date is 4 percent,” a spokesman for Pfizer said, referring to prices after discounts and rebates, rather than list prices.
Drug pricing has become a contentious issue as a wave of new treatments for cancer and other serious conditions reach the market, some costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But the row is particularly fierce in the United States, where prices are higher than in Europe and where there have been highly publicized price hikes of some older drugs, such as Mylan’s EpiPen.
In a bid to placate U.S. payers, patients and politicians, several companies, both domestic and foreign, have pledged to limit price rises.
French drugmaker Sanofi in May said it would not raise prices beyond the rate of healthcare inflation, which would cap hikes at 5.4 percent this year.
Other companies such as AbbVie, Allergan and Novo Nordisk have said they would raise prices in the single-digit percentage range this year.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)