The inside story on prescription costs |

The inside story on prescription costs

Something interesting and devastating is happening with generic drug prices. During all of my 33 years as a pharmacist practicing in Nevada County, I have not seen anything like it.

Generics have provided a remarkably cost effective therapeutic avenue to treat many illnesses. We have come to depend on them to help out and soften the blow of the ever increasing brand-name drugs and their prices. I definitely can understand the high cost for brand medicines that provide ever increasing innovation and therapeutic advances.

In the generic world, things have changed. Over the past six to 12 months, we have seen common generics such as Doxycycline, levothyroxine, prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), digoxin (Lanoxin), pravastatin, hydrocortisone suppositories and many more go up in price five-fold, 10-fold and more. Months ago, a typical Rx for one of these might have cost $10 to $20, but now the same Rx is $50 to $200 or more.

I keep asking, “What happened?” I never get a satisfactory answer. Why or how could something that has been dirt cheap for 20 or 30 years suddenly cost 10 times the price?

Big pharma? Obamacare? Insurance magnates? Bureaucracy flourishing?

David DeMartini, RPh

Nevada City

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