Thursday, October 9, 2014

Putting The Squeeze On The Old And The Ill: Generic Medication Prices Soar

Are you human? Are you old? Do you have chronic medical conditions? Are the prices of medications for those conditions climbing? Please read "Officials Question the Rising Costs of Generic Drugs" by Elisabeth Rosenthal at the NYT. Here's a sample:

Some of the rises have been huge, according to data released by the lawmakers. The price that hospitals and pharmacies pay for a bottle of 500 tablets of doxycycline, a decades-old antibiotic, rose to $1,849 in April, from $20 in October 2013. The price they pay for a bottle of pravastatin, a drug to lower cholesterol, rose to $196 from $27 in that same time. The price of a pill of digoxin, a centuries-old medicine that is irreplaceable for some cardiac patients, rose to $1.10 this summer from 11 cents in 2012.

Maybe you are of the 1% and don't have to use generics. Maybe you are determined to use brand-name drugs no matter what the cost, and are willing to skip some meals to afford them. But if neither of those statements describes you, sooner or later, you will need ongoing prescriptions of generic drugs... and yes, I take a handful twice a day. If you survive to old age, it's inevitable.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are mounting an effort in Congress to do something to control these egregious price increases. Perhaps you could get on Sanders's mailing list to track what you can do to help build support for the bill.


  1. In 2001, I paid $11 for 100 nitro tablets. Now, I pay $11 for 25. This is because the FDA decided only ONE frakking company could make this simplest of drugs. I'm seriously considering how to get a tank of laughing gas as a replacement.... Anyone, anyone? Bueller?


    1. Shirt, the whole prescription drug business is full of bastards. Not that you and I are ordinary, but ordinary citizens shouldn't have to dance like the late Patrick Swayze to get the medicines they need to stay alive. It isn't right. All of Congress, including the GOPers, know it isn't right. But they can't seem to resist the money Big Pharma sends their way, and once they take it, they vote to raise your and my prescription costs. If we had been born French... hell, if we'd been born Austrian... we wouldn't have this problem.

      GeeDubya Bush managed to make it illegal for an American to cross into Canada to get his/her drugs cheaper, but if I get to the point at which I can't afford my very basic, last-generation meds, I'll defy them and cross that border. Meds will have to be pretty expensive to make that worthwhile, as I live in Texas, but if they force me, goddammit, I'll do just that.



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