Rising wholesale prices led to higher expenses for half of insured patients

Although the pharmaceutical industry argues that wholesale prices do not accurately reflect prescription drug costs, a new study finds that rising wholesale prices have, in fact, led to higher out-of-pocket expenses for roughly half of insured patients.

The analysis examined 79 brand-name medicines from 2015 through 2017 and found that average wholesale prices — also referred to as list prices — increased by 16.7%. At the same time, there was a 5.4% rise in so-called net prices, which are paid by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers after drug makers offer rebates for more favorable insurance coverage.

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