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2019 begins with higher prescription drug prices

The new year is ringing in with higher drug prices.

Allergan is reportedly setting the pace with increases of nearly 10 percent on more than two dozen products, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While many of the increases are relatively modest, a few are particularly high, including on some generics, the cheaper alternative to branded accounting for nine out of 10 prescriptions filled in the US.

Still, many price increases exceed inflation.

More than three dozen drugmakers raised the prices on hundreds of medicines in the US on Tuesday, according to an analysis from Rx Savings Solutions, which sells software to help employers and health plans choose the least-expensive medicines.

The average increase was 6.3 percent, according to the analysis, including increases on different doses for the same drug.

Allergan confirmed the increases cited in the analysis, saying it raised the price of 51 products — 27 by about 9.5 percent and another 24 by about 4.9 percent.

The increases covered more than half of its portfolio, from an extended-release version of its Alzheimer’s drug Namenda to dry-eye treatment Restasis.

GlaxoSmithKline confirmed it raised the prices on 36 drugs, although none exceeded 3 percent.

Drug pricing remains a hot topic for Democrats when they take control of the House this week.

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