Ariad raises price of its leukemia drug four times so far this year

Ariad Pharmaceuticals has raised the price of ponatinib hydrochloride (Iclusig) four times this year, for a cumulative increase of 27%. The chronic myeloid leukemia drug now carries a list price of $16,560 a month, or nearly $199,000 annually, before any rebates or discounts.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals has raised the price of ponatinib hydrochloride (Iclusig) four times this year, for a cumulative increase of 27%. The chronic myeloid leukemia drug now carries a list price of $16,560 a month, or nearly $199,000 annually, before any rebates or discounts. In a statement, an Ariad spokesperson said the company considers "pricing based on a range of factors, including efforts to make sure that pricing appropriately reflects the benefit the therapy delivers to patients and to the health care system." Three years ago, in October 2013, FDA started investigating reports of serious and life-threatening blood clots and severe narrowing of blood vessels; and Ariad was asked to suspend sales. The company was allowed to resume marketing 2 months later, although usage was then limited only to certain patients with a genetic mutation that made them resistant to other drugs. The list price then was $10,350 for a month's supply of 45 mg tablets, the recommended dose. However, two price increases in 2015 brought the cost to $11,950, according to Truven Health Analytics, and then the price started increasing again in January of this year.