Older US Residents Paid Less For Generic Prescription Drugs

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The manufacturerprices for 185 generic medications decreased by an average of 9.6% in 2007,according to a report recently released by AARP, CQ HealthBeat reports(Sowder-Staley, CQ HealthBeat, 5/16). According to AARP, thedecrease marked the largest since at least 2003 (Bloomberg/Boston Globe, 5/16).

The report found that the manufacturer prices for 43 of the medicationsdecreased by as much as 69.5% and that the price for only nine of thetreatments increased. The manufacturer prices for the other 133 medicationsremained the same, according to the report. The diabetes medication metformin,the hypertension treatment lisinopril and the antidepressant mirtazapine hadthe most significant decreases in manufacturer prices, the report found.

AARP said that brand-name medications in many cases are no more effective thanlower-cost generic treatments and recommended that patients ask theirphysicians or pharmacists about generic medications as a treatment option. Generic Pharmaceutical Association spokesperson Andrea Hofelich said,"Switching to generics offers the same medicine as the brands but at muchlower prices," as generic medications can cost 30% to 80% less thanbrand-name treatments (CQ HealthBeat, 5/16).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.

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