The drug companies’ annual drug profits rose to $9 billion in 2015, up from $7.4 billion in 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.
The rise came from drug sales to the public, which totaled $9.1 billion in the year, the biggest increase since 2007.
The number of people on the street with a prescription rose from 723,000 in 2014 to 851,000 last year, a rise of 2.5 million people, the data agency said.
Drugmakers say the surge in demand is fueled by a surge in the price of generic versions of their drugs.
The price of the drugs is usually about 40 percent higher than the brand name versions, which can make them unaffordable for some people.