Congress Spurs Feds to Investigate Sky-High Generic Drug Prices

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Source: Fierce Pharma

Hefty increases in drug spending have lawmakers all riled up, and a new voice is joining the growing chorus of discontent. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is weighing in on the issue, planning to investigate the cause of soaring generic drug prices amid congressional concern.

As The Chicago Tribune reports, the department said in a letter received by Sen. Bernie Saunders (I-VT) that it would review quarterly prices for the top 200 generic drugs from 2005 to 2014 to see the extent to which the price increases were greater than inflation. Sanders, a vocal opponent of rising drug costs, has suggested that generic drug companies pay a rebate to Medicaid if their drug prices outpaced inflation--a change that would save taxpayers $500 million over 10 years, he said.

"Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs," Sanders said (as quoted by the Tribune). "It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs."

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