Exorbitant Medicine Costs -Generics Discounts Often Minimal

A recent story in the NY Times (Patients Eagerly Awaited a Generic Drug. Then They Saw The Price. ) shows that the availability of a generic drug does not guarantee that exorbitant pricing will be remedied.

An excerpt:

Syprine, which treats a rare condition known as Wilson disease, gained notoriety after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International raised the price of the drug to $21,267 in 2015 from $652 just five years earlier…

In promoting its “lower-cost” alternative to Syprine, a Teva executive boasted in a news release that the product “illustrates Teva’s commitment to serving patient populations in need.”

What the release didn’t mention was the price: Teva’s new generic will cost $18,375 for a bottle of 100 pills, according to Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database. That’s 28 times what Syprine cost in 2010, and hardly the discount many patients were waiting for.

Nearly three years after Valeant’s egregious price increases ignited public outrage, the story of Syprine highlights just how hard it can be to bring down drug prices once they’ve been set at stratospheric levels.

My take: This type of excessive drug cost is why critics demand additional regulation be placed over the entire pharmaceutical industry; it can occur only in a system which has limited competition and indirectly shares the cost across the entire system by having insurance companies foot most of the bill.

Related blog posts:

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1 thought on “Exorbitant Medicine Costs -Generics Discounts Often Minimal

  1. Pingback: Annual Costs: Generics vs. Brand-Name Medications | gutsandgrowth

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