Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) Increase Report Data – Current Year

The graphs below include submitted WAC Increase data for all 3 quarters of 2020. The interactive graphs display data that shows Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by WAC Price Category, Drug Source Type, or Both. Each graph allows you to filter through the data by quarter.

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 (36 reports as of Q3 2020).

Median Percent Increase – WAC Price Category#

Key Findings

  • 25.9% 3-year median increase in wholesale cost for all reports filed year-to-date in 2020, equivalent to a 7.7% annual increase while the nation experienced annual inflation of 1.8% during the same period. The annual inflation during the 3-year period reflects the full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the wholesale cost increase percentages likely do not. Although the data includes increases effective in Q2 and Q3 during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are increases from Q1 2020 before the shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Prescription drugs with WAC’s less than $250 have experienced the largest overall 3-year median percent increase (25.9%), with the largest quarterly 3-year median percent increase occurring in Q2 (45.5%).

Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by WAC Price Category (Q1 – Q3 2020)#

Median Percent Increase – Drug Source Type#

Key Findings

  • Non-Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Generics) experienced the largest overall 3-year median percent increase (31.7%).
  • As the year progressed, the 3-year median percent increase for Single Source Drugs (Brands) consistently increased each quarter with Q3 (27%) have the largest median percent increase thus far.
  • Non-Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Generics) experienced the largest 3-year median percent increase in Q2 (50.4%) which is more than double the median percent increase experienced by Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Primarily Generics) and Single Source Drugs (Brands) in the same quarter.

Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by Drug Source Type (Q1 – Q3 2020)#

Median Percent Increase – WAC Price Category & Drug Source Type#

Key Findings

  • Non-Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Generics) with WAC’s less than $250 experienced the largest overall 3-year median percent increase (52.8%) with the next largest median percent increase being Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Primarily Generics) with WAC’s greater than $10,000.
  • Overall, Single Source Drugs (Brands) had the smallest 3-year median percent increase across the range of prices. However, these median percent increases were still more than 20%, which could amount to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in three of the four WAC Price Categories that account for more than 90% of the reported increases. In Q3, Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Primarily Generics) experienced the least median percent increase of all Drug Source Types for each WAC Price Category.
  • In Q3, there were no reported increases for Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Primarily Generics) Non-Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Generics) with WAC’s greater than $10,000. In addition, there were no increases reported at all for Non-Innovator Multiple Source Drugs (Generics) with WAC’s greater than $10,000 in 2020.

Median Cumulative WAC Percent Increase by WAC Price Category and Drug Source Type (Q1 – Q3 2020)#

Data and Resources##

Additional Information##

Topic: Healthcare
Temporal Coverage: January to September 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-Q3 2020, not including reports that do not meet the specified minimum thresholds for reporting. (5) Manufacturers can submit late reports; and therefore, late reports for the first three quarters of 2020 that were submitted after December 3, 2020 are not included in the data.