Drug price spikes are back in the news again, but for a good reason this time. No, there isn’t another EpiPen price scandal nor has Martin Shkreli thrown a tantrum (well, not that we know about). Nor are we talking about Health Secretary Tom Price intervening in drug price-related legislation at the same time he bought stock in companies that would benefit from the legislation’s failure (although perhaps everyone should be talking about that).
No, drug prices are back in the conversation because of more good news coming out of France: drug company Sanofi has announced they will keep all future drug price hikes in the United States marketplace at or below the overall US healthcare inflation rate, although they reserve the right to make exceptions when they “have a sound reason for a higher increase.”
Since healthcare spending the the US is projected to increase by 5.4% in 2017, Sanofi has announced they’ll be using this as their limit. Full disclosure: my other job is in a drugstore, and I know from years of experience that few drug companies hike prices by only 5.4% in a year. This is a huge step by Sanofi.
Here’s part of the announcement, which can be read in full here: