5 Reasons Generic Drugs Cost So Much

(AP Photo/Alden Pellett)
(AP Photo/Alden Pellett)
(AP Photo/Alden Pellett)

(CBS News) – If you’ve gone to the pharmacy recently, there’s a good chance you may have noticed the cost of a generic drug isn’t what it used to be.

That’s because the prices of some generic drugs — which are comparable to a brand-name drug but generally cost less — have been on a relentless upward march, with about one out of five of the most used generic drugs increasing in price by more than 50 percent in 2013 alone.

Among those with extraordinary price jumps include the antibiotics doxycycline hyclate and doxycycline, which have seen annual increases of more than 2,000 percent and 1,800 percent, respectively, according to University of Minnesota professor Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, who provided the data to a Senate committee last year

The price jumps haven’t gone unnoticed by consumers and politicians, with two congressmen — Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland, and Vermont independent and presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders — introducing the Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act last month. That bill would require drugmakers to provide a rebate to Medicaid when prices of generics rise above the rate of inflation. Sanders and Cummings have also asked the Office of the Inspector General to investigate

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