The market forces are driving the price tag of some generic drugs. This has prompted the US to investigate into the pricing of some of these generic drugs which are cheap alternatives to the branded medications.
Generic drugs which should have cost a fraction of the cost of well known branded medications are seeing a phenomenal increase in the prices in the recent years.
Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, author of a new commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, and director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said, “Generics that should cost pennies per dose have undergone radical increases in price in recent years.”
The well known and widely used broad spectrum antibiotic doxycycline price has jumped from 6.3 pence to $3.36 per pill. In the same way well known antidepressant drug clomipramine is now selling at $8.32 per pill from 22 cents only a few months earlier.
Supply chain problems as well as increased manufacturing costs are some of the reasons for the price hike. Today fewer and fewer companies are making generic versions of the drugs.
Kesselheim said, “We take for granted that generic drugs are low-cost, but they’re only low-cost because there’s competition. When that competition goes away, the prices rise. Because we leave this up to the free market, this is a risk we take on.”