Rivals Pfizer, Lilly In Sync with Price Increases

Nov. 29, 2016

Pfizer Inc. raised the list price of Viagra by 13 percent in June. A few days later, Eli Lilly & Co. increased the price of its competing drug Cialis by the same amount, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

The two competitor companies followed a common industry practice: raising prices in tandem. Pfizer and Lilly have repeatedly increased their erectile-dysfunction drugs within days/weeks of each other, keeping similar list prices of each pill.

The article highlights a problem in the drug industry: Even when there is competition, prices can continue to climb. "That is because patients tend to stick with a drug that works for them, and health insurers and drug-benefit managers sometimes have contracts for drugs that prevent switching to cheaper options," the article says.

A six-pill prescription of Viagra or Cialis lists for about $300, which is more than double what it was five years ago, according to wholesale acquisition-cost data supplied byConnecture.

Read the WSJ article