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

The graphs below include submitted WAC Increase data for 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. In 2020, 38 of 1,242 reports did not meet the statutory requirements.

Median Percent Increase – WAC Price Category

Key Findings

  • The median 3-year percent WAC increase of all reports was 24.7%.
  • All four WAC categories continued to reflect median 3-year WAC increases above 20%, including WACs greater than $10,000 (21.7%).
  • WACs less than $250 experienced the largest overall 3-year median percent WAC increase (25.9%) with the largest 3-year median percent increase occurring in Q4 2020 (80.27%).

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

Median Percent Increase – Drug Source Type

Key Findings

  • The reported WAC increases to non-innovator multiple source drugs experienced the largest median 3-year percent increase of 31.8% of all reported increases across drug source types. The non-innovator multiple drug source type is comprised of generic drugs approved under an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) but does not include authorized generics that only require the permission of the brand drug manufacturer to enter the market.
  • 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 Drug Source Type (Q1 – Q4 2020)

Median Percent Increase – WAC Price Category & Drug Source Type

Key Findings

  • With the exception of WACs<$250, all the single source drugs have the smallest reported median 3-year WAC increases in the WAC categories. None of the single source drugs for any WAC category experienced an overall 3-year median percent increase larger than the yearly median (24.74%).
  • Of the WAC increases reportedly made in Q4 2020, the highest 3-year median increases were made to single source drugs in all WAC categories except WACs<$250.

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

Data and Resources#

Additional Information#

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

Manufacturers are required to provide the reason(s) for reported wholesale cost increases, unless the information is not public. More than half (56.6%) of the reports did not include any reasons for the reported wholesale cost increases due to the information not already being in the public domain.

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 2020, not including reports that do not meet the specified minimum thresholds for reporting. (5) Manufacturers can submit late reports; and therefore, reports submitted after April 8, 2021 are not included in the data.