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Generics prices in US decrease again in 2013 Posted 03/07/2015

In 2013, retail prices for 280 widely used generics fell by an average of 4.0%, compared to the US inflation rate, which was 1.5% over the same period.

However, although generics prices have been consistently decreasing over the past years, the average annual generics price decrease in 2013 was the smallest decrease since 2006, see Figure 1.

Out of the 280 generics studied, 203 products experienced a price decrease, 75 experienced a price increase and 2 remained the same.

Despite the decreases, however, 11 widely used generics had retail price increases of more than 30.0% in 2013. This is perhaps, in line with recent reports of generics price increases. US Senator Bernie Sanders and US Congressman Elijah E Cummings have previously pointed to ‘staggering price increases’ in the range of 390–8,200% across ten generics [1]. A survey of pharmacists also showed that 99.9% of pharmacists surveyed had experienced a large upswing in the acquisition price of a generic drug in the last six months [2]. Such reports have led the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate recent price increases in generics and how such increases have affected the Medicaid* programme in the US [3].

The AARP report concludes that ‘the recent price changes for generic drug products may be signalling that the era of consistent drug price decreases for generic drug products is coming to an end’.

*Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health related services for people with low income in the US.

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Investigation into huge price increases for generics in US

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Investigation into huge price increases for generics in the US [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/General/Investigation-into-huge-price-increases-for-generics-in-the-US
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Pharmacist survey highlights increasing generics costs [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Reports/Pharmacist-survey-highlights-increasing-generics-costs
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Soaring generics prices come under increased scrutiny [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/General/Soaring-generics-prices-come-under-increased-scrutiny

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Source: AARP

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