Pfizer Raises Prices on More Than 100 Drugs

Cost of some drugs jump by as much as 20%.

As the high cost of prescription drugs have jumped into the spotlight to become a hot button issue among presidential candidates, Pfizer reportedly increased the cost on more than 100 medications by as much as 20% at the start of 2016.

According to statistics compiled by information services firm Wolters Kluwer cited in a report by UBS Securities, the cost of 105 drugs were raised on treatments ranging from pain medications to erectile dysfunction drugs.

"Medicines are among the most effective and efficient use of private and public health care dollars," a Pfizer spokesman told Reuters. "It is important to note that the list price does not reflect the considerable discounts offered to the government, managed care organizations, and commercial health plans and certain programs that restrict any increases above the inflation rate."

Reuters reported a 9.4% hike on the pain medication Lyrica, a 12.9% increase on the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, and a 5% jump on the breast cancer therapy Ibrance, which launched in 2015 at a monthly cost of $9,850.

Wolters Kluwer noted that 20% increases were put in place on the anti-seizure drug Dilantin, the estrogen-booster Menest, the angina therapy Nitrostat, the irregular heartbeat treatment Tykosyn, and the antibiotic Tygacil.

In 2014, Pfizer reported biopharmaceutical revenue of $45.7 billion, with $17.2 billion in the United States. Conversely, Pfizer reportedly spent $8.4 billion on research and development and $14.1 billion on promotional costs.

In November, Pfizer and Allergan announced an agreement for a merger worth $160 billion, which is expected to close in the second half of 2016.

“The proposed combination of Pfizer and Allergan will create a leading global pharmaceutical company with the strength to research, discover and deliver more medicines and therapies to more people around the world,” said Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “Through this combination, Pfizer will have greater financial flexibility that will facilitate our continued discovery and development of new innovative medicines for patients, direct return of capital to shareholders, and continued investment in the United States, while also enabling our pursuit of business development opportunities on a more competitive footing within our industry.”