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Thread: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

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    Default Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    Ameet Sarpatwari, JD, PhD
    Contributing Editor
    Posted October 22, 2015

    The high cost of prescription drugs is big news. You hear about it on television, in your doctor’s office, and even on the campaign trail. When you think about expensive drugs, you may think about novel therapies for lung cancer or hepatitis C. But in fact, prices are also skyrocketing for the generic versions of some commonly prescribed drugs.
    An article published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that between 2012 and 2013, captopril — a generic drug used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure — increased in price from 1 cent to 40 cents per pill. During this same period, the cost of doxycycline, an older antibiotic, increased from 6 cents to $3.36 per pill. Connecture, a health insurance information technology company, reports that while the price of most generic drugs remained constant between 2008 and 2015, almost 400 generics saw price increases of more than 1,000%.

    Keep reading: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/...e-201510228480
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    So, now I have 2 reasons I don't like generic drugs. My primary reason is "generic drug manufacturers" cannot be held liable for bad drugs. That's right, if a generic drug company sells you a prescription that makes you sick, you cannot sue them. So says FDA rules, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in both a 2011 and a 2013 case. If you want to learn more about why these companies cannot be held liable, read here:

    https://www.spanglaw.com/blog/2016/j...mune-from-law/

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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    I didn't know that Mr Wizard. That's rather worrying.
    Last edited by Julieanne; 07-11-18 at 06:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    I didn't either. It's similar to the ruling that vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued or held accountable for harm.

    My one prescription is for a lifetime of thyroid medication, and it's always been a generic. I took for granted that a generic would be the chemical equivalent of the original formula. While working with disturbed adolescents, I saw the flaws in my reasoning. A boy on ADHD medication switched doctors, and the new doctor put him on a generic which simply did not work. No effect at all. And it was a long hard road to get him back to the original prescription.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    @Julieanne: There are 2 pending cases where people harmed by a generic drug have brought lawsuit against the original "brand-name" company. The legalities of both cases are a little convoluted. However, the State Supreme Courts of Massachusetts and California ruled in the past several months that, although people hurt by a generic drug could not sue the generic drug manufacturer, they could sue the original maker of the drug. Mercke is involved in the Massachusetts case, while Novartis is implicated in the California case. These two huge, multi-national pharmaceutical companies are crawling with legions of "powerful lawyers." So, IMHO, I don't expect either case to succeed, but at least it's a start....as far as I know this has never been tried before. I'm watching both cases closely.
    @Islander: I've heard numerous stories of people getting worse after switching to the generic form of a medication. Generic manufacturers claim their product is an exact replica of the original drug. This may be true for the "ACTIVE" ingredients in the drug, but generic companies are allowed to add, delete, modify, or substitute "In-active" ingredients to the medication. Almost always when people have a bad experience with a generic, they are reacting to the a new or different "inactive" ingredient. I advise people to stick with the original medication, unless an "ingredient by ingredient" comparison shows both the original and the generic to be identical. If one inactive ingredient is different, this could spell trouble.
    Last edited by Mr. Wizard; 07-11-18 at 02:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    Thank you for your thorough research Mr Wizard! It sounds like the sort of case that could drag on for years.

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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    Yes, thank you from me too, Mr. Wiz!
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why many generic drugs are becoming so expensive

    Now that Massachusetts & California have opened the door to sue the "original" manufacturer when someone is harmed from taking a generic I believe we'll see more of these cases. I was not aware that between 80% - 90% of all pharmaceuticals dispensed in the U.S. are generic drugs.

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