Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) Increase Report Data – Cumulative

The graphs below include submitted WAC Increase data from Q1 2019 – Q4 2020. The interactive graphs display data that shows Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase for the number of reports received in each quarter. The graphs allow you to filter through the data by WAC Price Category and Drug Source Type.

Note: Reported increases that do not meet the statutory requirements for reporting and prescription drugs that do not meet the definition for reporting under the Regulations and Section 321(g) of Title 21 of the United States Code were not included in the visualizations. In 2019, 53 of 1,384 and in 2020, 38 of 1,242 reports did not meet the statutory requirements.

Median Percent Increase – WAC Price Category

Key Findings

  • The number of WAC increases reported in 2020 was slightly lower than in 2019, with the median 3-year WAC increases reported in each of the 2020 quarters across WAC categories mostly less than those reported in the same quarters across WAC categories in 2019.
  • The widest range of median 3-year WAC increases in 2020 were reported in the least expensive and most expensive WAC categories.
  • Q1 for each year experienced the largest number of increases reported with the lowest median cumulative WAC percent increase compared to the other quarters.

Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by Quarter and WAC Price Category (Q1 2019 – Q4 2020)

Median Percent Increase – Drug Source Type

Key Findings

  • Despite having consistently smaller median 3-year WAC percent increases in each quarter of 2020, single source drugs saw a greater number of reported WAC increases than non-innovator multiple source drugs during the same quarters.
  • Of the 215 reported WAC increases on innovator multiple source drugs executed in 2020, 207 (96%) were made in Q1 of 2020, with a median 3-year percent increase of 25.9%.
  • Single source drugs, which are brand drugs that continue to benefit from market protection under an approved new drug application (NDA) or biologics license application (BLA), were reported to have the smallest median 3-year percent increase of 22.5%. On an annualized basis, this is equivalent to increasing the WAC each year roughly 7%, which is almost four times the average annual inflation rate during the same period.

Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by Quarter and Drug Source Type (Q1 2019 – Q4 2020)

Data and Resources#

Additional Information#

Topic: Healthcare
Temporal Coverage: January 2019 to December 2020
Spatial/Geographic Coverage: Statewide
Frequency: Quarterly
Citation: Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), Prescription Drug Cost Transparency

Notes: (1) Wholesale cost refers to the industry term of wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), which is the wholesale list price of a prescription drug. (2) Median is the middle data value of a numeric dataset that has been arranged in sequential order. (3) The 3-year median percent increase is based on submitted wholesale cost data. (4) The dataset is subject to reporting. The dataset includes only complete reports submitted by manufacturers for Q1 2019-Q4 2020, not including reports that do not meet the specified minimum thresholds for reporting. (5) Manufacturers can submit late reports; and therefore, late reports that were submitted after April 8, 2021 are not included in the data.