6-Jan-15 8:45 AM  CST

Cost of Generic Drugs Skyrocketing

There can be no doubt, generic drugs save patients thousands of dollars every year, and in a time when medical cost continue to rise, is often a welcomed alternative to brand name drugs. However, a recent report in the New York Times states that the cost of some generic drugs has increased more than 1,000%. Federal lawmakers are getting involved, demanding that generic drug manufactures provide justification for the excessive increases in some generic drug.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that 8 out of every 10 prescriptions filled in the United States are filled with a generic drug. Generic drugs have been able to save consumers more than 1.2 trillion dollars over a period of 10 year from 2003 -2013. With the recent unexplained increase in some generic drugs consumers have begun to wonder if generic drugs will continue to be the bargain they once were.

One example of out of control generic drug pricing is the antibiotic, doxycycline. Doxycycline, which has been prescribed for decades, cost pharmacies approximately $20.00 for a bottle of 500 capsules in 2013, but in 2014 that price jumped to nearly $1900.00. Another example of skyrocketing generic drug cost is the live saving cardiac drug, digoxin. Digoxin, which helps to regulate heart arrhythmia and is made from the foxglove plant, rose from 11 cents per tablet to $1.10 cents in 2014, a significant jump for any medication.

Lawmakers have taken notice to the increases and took the unprecedented move of sending a letter to 14 generic drug manufactures asking for an explanation for the troublesome increases, and the leaving open the possibility of a hearing on the matter in October of 2015. Some possible reasons why some generic drugs have taken such a dramatic increase include drug shortages, over demand for the drug, or inability to obtain the ingredients need to manufacture the drug. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain, if generic drugs are to continue to be a bargain for consumers, cost must first be controlled and maintained.




Hirst, E., (2014) “Generic drug skyrocket in the past year,” Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-rising-generic-drug-prices-1102-biz-20141121-story.html#page=1, 31. December 2014

Rosenthal, E., (2014) “Officials Question the Rising Cost of Generic Drugs “The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/business/officials-question-the-rising-costs-of-generic-drugs.html?_r=0retrieved, 31. December 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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