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.
What has been your experience?
Have the prices of your medicines gone up dramatically during this "Health Care Reform" debate?