Jan. 18, 2024 -- Manufacturers of diabetes drugs that have also become popular for weight loss raised their medication prices at the start of 2024.
Novo Nordisk, which makes Ozempic, and Eli Lilly, which sells Mounjaro, increased drug costs during the first half of January, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by 46brooklyn Research, a nonprofit drug-pricing analytics group.
The monthly price of Ozempic went up 3.5% to almost $970, the Journal reported. The cost of Mounjaro rose 4.5% to almost $1,070 a month.
The Journal reported that Novo Nordisk said its list-price increases in the United States haven’t reached above single-digit percentages since 2016.
Pharmaceutical companies have increased list prices on 775 brand-name drugs so far in 2024, the Journal reported.
They “generally attributed the price increases to market trends, inflation and the value the drugs provide,” the newspaper wrote. “Some companies said the list-price changes wouldn’t affect patients’ access to the medicines.”
Drug prices usually go up at the start of a year, and more increases are possible.
Such increases typically anger patients and health care professionals. Drug manufacturers often discount prices to win reimbursement from health plans, as the Journal noted, and patients with health insurance usually pay just a fraction of the cost.
The U.S. government is set to begin the first-ever negotiations with drug makers over prices of drugs this year. Last year it began penalizing manufacturers that raised list prices of medicines above the rate of inflation.