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Drugmakers Hike Prices of Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Hundreds of Other Drugs in 2024

In the first fifteen days of January 2024, drugmakers hiked the prices of 775 name-brand drugs. The figures are higher than the current inflation rate. The price increase will be especially concerning for patients whose healthcare plans do not cover Mounjaro, Ozempic, or other medications for weight-management-related issues. New research by 46brooklyn Research, reported by the Wall Street Journal, shows pharmaceutical companies have raised list prices for popular weight-loss drugs Ozempic, Mounjaro, and hundreds of other widely used medications in 2024. 

Almost 800 medicines, including Ozempic by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, a rival drug, are now being widely used for weight loss. As a result, these drugs have been in increased demand, leading to shortages in supply. These medications have seen sharp spikes in cost increase. Other drugs that have increased in price this year are Plavix, a blood thinner; Enbrel, used for autoimmune diseases; Wellbutrin, an antidepressant; and Oxycontin, a pain medication. In this blog, we will help you know what to look out for and how to buy Mounjaro online Canada at the most affordable prices and save if you are currently using these drugs. 

Which Medicine Prices Are Skyrocketing in the USA?

Drugmakers have made many popular medicines more expensive so far this year, as they do every January. The Journal reported that while some drug companies saw price increases of up to 10%, the median increase was 4.5%. The price of Mounjaro rose 4.5% to nearly $1,070 for a month’s supply. At the same time, the price of Ozempic rose 3.5% to almost $970 for a month’s supply. In addition to helping people with diabetes improve their glycemic control, they’ve also been found to be effective in weight loss. Hill Dermaceuticals had the largest price hike for Tolak topical cream, by 33%. Chiesi also increased the price of Ferriprox by 21% and 13% for oral solutions and tablets, respectively. It has also been found that GLP-1 receptors used as weight loss medications will also see a price hike as demand increases. Ozempic and Rybelsus by Novo Nordisk jumped by 3.5%. At the same time, Mounjaro’s price skyrocketed by 3.5%. 

What Effects Do Increasing Drug Prices Have on Patients? 

According to the Wall Street Journal, it is not unusual to see frequent price hikes from drug manufacturing companies in the first weeks of January every year. There may be more price increases throughout the year, which would make diabetes treatment even more expensive. The Congressional Budget Office states that the retail price of medications is determined by discount agreements between pharmacies and their intermediaries and insurers. As a result of these negotiations, drugmakers do not get payment for the full list price of their drugs. Depending on their health insurance plan, the consumers may only pay a copay for the drugs, and even those with high deductibles don’t usually pay the full list price. However, since the list price influences the amount consumers pay, an increase in list prices typically translates into an increase in copay. Companies have estimated that the price hike will not limit the consumer’s access to medications. 

A Surge in Demand for Weight-Loss Drugs Like Ozempic 

The popularity of Ozempic, a diabetes treatment from Novo Nordisk, skyrocketed in 2023 as it was being popularly used as a weight loss drug, which ultimately led to shortages and also opened a secondary market for drug compounding pharmacies. When coupled with increasing costs, this situation may severely limit Medicaid recipients’ access to these medications. Medicaid covers Ozempic and Mounjaro costs but for their approved use in treating individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus and not for providing coverage of the prescriptions for weight loss. Some states have imposed restrictions, while some don’t cover them at all for weight management. 

Health Concerns and Legal Challenges Regarding Its Use

While the demand for ozempic has been increasing, there has also been a sharp spike in the number of unintended health concerns associated with its use. Common side effects of the diabetes treatment medication are nausea/vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It can also lead to, although rare, adverse health issues such as gastroparesis and bowel obstruction. The FDA has received around 100 reports of impaired gastric emptying as of September and almost 40 reports of intestinal obstruction. Individuals are now filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of antidiabetic medications Ozempic and Mounjaro that they did not warn users of the risks of severe gastroparesis, ileus, and intestinal blockage. Morgan & Morgan, the first law firm that first filed the lawsuit, is now investigating thousands of such claims by patients, and the attorneys are actively taking cases. 

Where are Drug Prices Dropping? 

While several medications, such as Ozempic and Mounjaro, have become even more expensive in 2024, some anti-diabetes medications are being considered for price negotiation as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These medications include: 

  • DPP-4 inhibitor Januvia
  • SGLT-2 inhibitors Jardiance and Farxiga
  • Several rapid-acting insulins such as Fiasp PenFill, Fiasp FlexTouch, NovoLog FlexPen, and PenFill. 

The negotiated prices of the above-mentioned drugs will not go into effect until 2026. And it is said that more drugs will be eligible for negotiation in the time to come. Other medicines that saw a decline in price include Cialis, an erectile dysfunction drug, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medication Advair, and the antidepressant Prozac. While the drop in price cuts impacts a lesser number of medications as compared to the hundreds of drugs such as Ozempic and Mounjaro pen that become even more expensive in 2024, they are nevertheless “truly remarkable from a historical perspective,” 46 Brooklyn noted. 

Key Takeaway

Taking medications regularly and consistently is one of the most crucial parts of diabetes management. A hike in price can affect the patient’s ability to access the drugs and even lead patients to ration diabetes supplies. In a study conducted in 2021, it was found that almost 17% of insulin users skipped their insulin dosage, took less dose than needed, or delayed buying insulin, all due to cost. Luckily, there are resources to help patients buy the medications at the most cost-effective price and get them delivered to their doorstep conveniently. To further offset the price, drug manufacturers can also help pay for drugs through patient assistance programs, healthcare plans, and savings cards.

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