Thursday, November 29, 2012

Low hanging fruit

Brand-Name Drug Prices Rise Sharply, Report Says

The price of brand-name prescription medicines is rising far faster than the inflation rate, while the price of generic drugs has plummeted, creating the largest gap so far between the two, according to a report published Wednesday by the pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

The report tracked an index of commonly used drugs and found that the price of brand-name medicines increased more than 13 percent from September 2011 to this September, which it said was more than six times the overall price inflation of consumer goods. Generic drug prices dipped by nearly 22 percent.

The drop in the price of generics “represents low-hanging fruit for the country to save money on health care,” said Dr. Steve Miller, the chief medical officer of Express Scripts, which manages the drug benefits for employers and insurers and also runs a mail-order pharmacy.

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