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Some generic drug prices rising at a staggering pace

Written by Diane Archer

A recent investigation shows generic drug prices rising at a staggering pace. The drug industry has significant responsibility for the high-cost of many generic drugs. Neither the insurance companies nor other middlemen have the leverage to rein in prices adequately. Here are just two examples:

In October 2013, the average cost for one Albuterol Sulfate pill, which treats asthma and lung conditions, was .11 cents.  Six months later, in April 2014, the average cost per pill was $4.34, almost 40 times more.

In October 2013, the average cost for one Doxycycline Hyclate pill, which treats bacterial infections, was .04 cents. The average charge in April 2014 was $3.70 a pill.

The data come from the Healthcare Supply Chain Association and represent the amounts that group purchasing organizations pay for these drugs.  Congress needs to step in and ensure that everyone in America pays a fair price for prescription drugs, as every other wealthy nation has done. For now, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Elijah Cummings have introduced legislation that would rein in the prices Medicaid pays for generic drugs.

For a detailed study on the high cost of generic drugs, read this article from the New England Journal of Medicine.


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