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Ever get the feeling you've been ripped off?

- Johnny Rotten

GAO found more than 400 examples of unusual price jumps on brand name drugs during the eight-year period — most ranged from 100 to 499 percent, but several exceeded 1,000 percent.

But congressional investigators acknowledged that drugmakers often aren't to blame for the steep increases. More than half of the price hikes cited in the GAO report came from suppliers who repackage drugs for use by patients, according to the report.

Repackagers can include HMOs, pharmacies and stand-alone companies.

Oh that's nice.

What exactly is causing this spike in drug prices?

GAO said there simply isn't enough competition to drive prices down for certain niche medicines. The group said consolidation in the drug industry means large drugmakers have bought up entire groups of similar drugs, allowing them to charge higher prices.

So what are we going to do about it?

Answer, study the problem more.

At the request of Senate Democrats, the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general plans to investigate whether drug companies are raising prices of prescription drugs ahead of passage of the health care overhaul plan.

full story here

God forbid we actually start cracking some heads on these monopolies by cutting in half the time drugs can go generic.

At least a few people are paying attention.

Drugmakers in June made a $80 billion, 10-year pact with Senate Democrats and the Obama administration that could limit concessions from the industry, which agreed to pay millions of dollars in annual taxes as well as help lower prices for some seniors in the Medicare prescription drug program.

Democratic senators Charles Schumer and Amy Klobuchar requested the GAO analysis and said it shows more must be done to make medicines affordable, including allowing the federal government to negotiate prices.

"This is further proof that Medicare should be allowed to negotiate drug prices, just as the Veterans Administration does. It would help save taxpayers a lot of money," Klobuchar said.
Reuters

What has been your experience?

Have the prices of your medicines gone up dramatically during this "Health Care Reform" debate?

Here is the Summary of Findings and the Full Report by the GAO

Originally posted to greendem on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:03 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:03:06 PM PST

  •  The prescription drug increase timeline... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, greendem, Losty

    ... certainly is synchronized to legislative benefits handed to the corporations by Congress. These benefits are paid by the consumer protecting drug company profits.

    "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all" Andrew Carnegie

    by pantherq on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:06:49 PM PST

  •  Too bad Dorgan's amendment was killed (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, Brecht, wa ma, TomP, Losty, allenjo

    by the WH.

    •  That was a big Obama sell out! nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greendem

      "We are tired of war," he said. "We don't want it anymore."

      by allenjo on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:14:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Obama sees drug prices as needing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Support Civil Liberty

        propping up, as the drug companies are big contributors. Just like the bank rescue, typically during depressions/recessions prices fall, and investors see losses.

        But, in this case, investors can't be allowed to lose because its a big house of cards that if it falls, it would result in a collapse because our debts are so incredibly huge.

        Each American owes around $30,000-$40,000 on our nations' "corporate" debts. For years now, Americans have been spending huge amounts of money on wars, bailouts, giveaways to various well connected folks. We've been living high off the hog with our Swiss bank accounts and McMansions.

        If drug prices or really, anything, anywhere in the US corporate world were to not get propped up with rich Americans money, anything that the international rich have invested in, were to fall, our faithful investors in the ponzi scheme might sell causing a panic. That would cause a monetary crisis and the IMF will of course have to come in and feeze all social programs immediately. No more health reform, privatization of all national assets, tax increases and probably, Social Security goes too. We would have already spent it.

        Its like Iceland, but the amount each of us owe for our sins is actually higher, per capita. We don't want to end up like Iceland. The Icelandic terrorist regime is now an international pariah.

        Taiwan moved to Single Payer and 95% coverage at high quality in One Year
        101,000 Americans don't NEED to die in 2011

        by Andiamo on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:29:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama was advised by the Clintons to make a deal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Support Civil Liberty

          with big Pharma (which is why he ended up getting Dorgan's bill killed), because they said that Pharma would kill health care reform unless he got them inside the tent, pissing out.

          He also wanted to make sure that Pharma were allied with Democrats and not just pouring their money into Republican coffers.

          Health care is so expensive that it does the American economy far more harm than good. I expect Obama does want to change things gradually and avoid destabilizing shocks.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:42:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Which will NEVER HAPPEN.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, allenjo

    Pharma deal means we get screwed, again.

    Imagine that.. Mandates, and yet ANOTHER way we get screwed..

  •  Good diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem

    Slight factual correction: What Johnny Rotten actually said to finish the concert, on the night he quit the Sex Pistols, was "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

    "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

    by Brecht on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:32:20 PM PST

    •  Thanks for the correction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht

      That was at Winterland in SF right?

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:40:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. I just watched 'The Filth and the Fury', (0+ / 0-)

        and had previously read a couple of books on the Sex Pistols. The Winterland concert was one of their worst. Sid was never equipped to handle fame or heroin (or even the bass), and Malcolm McLaren enjoyed the notoriety but not responsibility, so he'd stir things up but stand back whenever there were actual problems to solve.

        Perhaps it was meant to be, and surely made a better myth, in the end:
        "The king is gone but he's not forgotten,
        This is the story of Johnny Rotten;
        It's better to burn out than to fade away."

        This sub-thread really belongs in another diary - yours is horrific enough without drugs and rock'n'roll.

        "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

        by Brecht on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 04:00:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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