A recent trend of dramatic price increases for generic drugs may make some medications inaccessible to patients, and could have serious public health consequences, ASHP told members of the Senate Special Committee on Aging in a statement submitted for the record during today’s hearing, “Sudden Price Spikes in Off-Patent Drugs: Perspectives from the Front Lines.”
ASHP noted that in recent months the association’s members have reported that inexplicable price increases of some of the most commonly used, longstanding generic medications are becoming more prevalent. Increased drug prices place enormous budgetary pressure on healthcare organizations, and long-term absorption of these rapid and unpredictable price increases is unsustainable.
“These unexpected and increasingly more frequent price increases have significant consequences for patients and healthcare organizations,” said Kasey K. Thompson, Pharm.D., M.S., M.B.A., ASHP vice president of policy, planning and communications. “We are eager to learn more about why these price spikes are occurring and to explore potential policy options and market-based solutions that may exist to minimize the likelihood of this occurring in the future.”
The hearing also included testimony from ASHP member Erin Fox, Pharm.D., FASHP, director of the University of Utah Drug Information Service, who described the challenges associated with sudden price increases for commonly used generic medications.
The full version of ASHP’s statement is available here.
ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 40,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website, www.ashp.org
, or its consumer website, www.SafeMedication.com
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