Posted By: Matt Taylor The price of the world’s most widely used drug, HCl, has plummeted by $7 per litre to $14.98 a litre.
The benchmark price for HCl is $10.40 a litres in London, and the cheapest price for the drug in the world is $14 a liter in Sydney, according to a new analysis by the drug’s makers.
HCL has seen price drops in Australia, where it is being used for chronic pain, and in China, where the drug is being approved for treating some cancers.
“The global price for a single pill has dropped by more than 30 per cent since it hit the market in June 2016,” the Australian Drug Policy Alliance’s director of research, Dr Amy McPherson, said.
“This is a great result and the price drop is a sign that the world of drugs is starting to move away from the old price system that has been around for decades.”
This is one of the most important steps in the changeover from old-style price controls to new market-driven pricing systems, which will make it easier for patients to access drugs that can save lives.
The rise in the price “shows that the global market is moving away from old price controls” and “that the global supply chain is moving towards a more market-oriented model”. “
A number of countries have adopted a market-based approach to drug pricing and the cost of prescription drugs has been falling over time,” she said.
The rise in the price “shows that the global market is moving away from old price controls” and “that the global supply chain is moving towards a more market-oriented model”.
A key reason behind the price shift, Dr Mcpherson said, was a shift to a generic version of the drug, called generic-branded HCl.
“While the generic-brand version of HCl has been the standard, the new generic-bought version is now the more expensive version of that drug,” Dr Mcpherson added.
“There are also some other reasons for the price decline, such as increased awareness of the cost and potential side effects of the medication, which are likely to be the biggest drivers of price increases.”
Dr Jonathan Fennell, head of the research group at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of Western Australia, said HCl had become more expensive to access in Australia.
“In recent years, the price has dropped significantly and that is a good thing,” he said.
Dr Fennells study showed that the price for generic-branded HCl fell by more then 50 per cent in Australia between 2014 and 2016, and that it had also been falling in China.
“We’re seeing the same thing here in Australia,” he added.
China has been a key market for the generic drug, which is the cheapest available.
Dr McPhherson and Dr FENNell said the global drug supply chain was also moving towards market-led pricing.
“Market-led drugs pricing will ensure that patients have access to the most effective drug available at the lowest cost,” Dr Fynell said.
But Dr Mcphherson warned there were still “significant barriers to getting generic-prescription drugs to people in Australia”.
“Many countries are already introducing generic pricing in some of their markets, and this will not necessarily have an impact on prices for generic drugs, because the drugs will be covered by the same pricing system as generic-patients,” she added.