New Indexes Track Rising Drug Prices
Health Care

New Indexes Track Rising Drug Prices

© Felix Ausin Ordonez / Reuters

Bloomberg News today introduced price indexes for some of the most common and best-known drugs. The indexes cover 40 of the most widely used treatments across six categories: “diabetes, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.” The indexes are intended to be an easy way to keep track of the costs of those treatments — and keep politicians accountable for their promises. “It’s a look at whether Trump's rhetoric on prices since he was elected has had a major impact,” Bloomberg’s team writes. “(Hint: it hasn’t.)”

The indexes show that, across all six categories, list prices of drugs have risen far faster than overall inflation since June 2015.  Prices for 10 diabetes drugs, for example, rose 25.6 percent on average, while prices for five autoimmune treatments including rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, the best-selling drug in the world, rose by more than 40 percent on average.

The news service says it will update the indexes periodically as prices change.