Generics May Not Remain a "Cheaper Option," Study Finds

The study, published in NEJM, found that in addition to supply chain and manufacturing problems, lack of competition may be adding to their costs.

Market forces are dramatically driving up the cost of some generic drugs, prompting U.S. investigations into the pricing of what should be cheap alternatives to brand-name medications.

New England Journal of Medicine

Generics that should cost pennies per dose have undergone radical increases in price in recent years, said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, author of a new commentary in the , and director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

For example, the widely used broad-spectrum antibiotic doxycycline has increased from 6.3 cents to $3.36 per pill. And the long-established antidepressant drug clomipramine has increased from 22 cents to $8.32 per pill, Kesselheim noted in his commentary.

Supply chain and manufacturing problems have caused some of these price hikes, he said. But Kesselheim believes that other increases have resulted from too few companies making the generic versions of these drugs.

Read the original report on MedlinePlus: http://bit.ly/1xEh0x1