Drug price hikes began right away this year. By February, manufacturers had increased their prices for 639 prescription drugs — more than in each of the past two years.
Still, some prescriptions remain far more expensive than others — with the most expensive drugs easily costing more than the typical household income in the U.S. (That’s a median of $61,937 per year or $5,161 per month as of 2018.)
A recent analysis by drug price watchdog GoodRx shows that the 20 most expensive drugs of 2020 all cost five figures — for a one-month supply.
The analysis was based on list prices — the prices set by drug manufacturers — which often are higher than patients end up paying. However, list prices provide a way to track drug costs, measure changes and make apples-to-apples comparisons.
As GoodRx explains:
“Few patients actually pay this price because they are typically shielded by their health insurance. But the list price is still a good proxy for the price of a drug. In essence, rising list prices lead to rising out-of-pocket costs for patients.”
Following is a closer look at the most unaffordable medications of 2020 based on list price.