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It’s almost a tradition. At the start and halfway points of each year, many pharmaceutical companies raise drug prices to bolster revenue and reportedly fund new research.

“It’s not just all selling new drugs,” said Juliette Cubanski, deputy director of the Program on Medicare Policy at KFF. “It’s increasing prices on their existing portfolio.” But, this year for the first time in history, drugmakers’ biannual price hikes will be factored into rebates, or partial refunds, that they will have to pay to Medicare if they increase prices above the rate of inflation.


A new STAT analysis of mid-year price hikes has found that, despite these new requirements, drug prices are on the rise. Indeed, on July 1, drugmakers raised the wholesale price on over 123 drugs in what’s the largest number of mid-year price hikes since 2013, according to data from drug pricing nonprofit 46brooklyn and the Elsevier Gold Standard Drug Database.

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