Given that a brand-name prescription drug stands to lose a significant chunk of its market share once a lower-price generic becomes available, you can understand why a drug company would want to do anything it can to delay the cheaper alternative, even if you disagree with their intentions. We’ve seen companies accused of paying millions to stave off competition through alleged “pay for delay” deals, and we’ve also seen examples of “product hopping” to prevent competitors from entering the field. Now here’s another method for keeping generics off the market: allegedly flooding the Food and Drug Administration with pointless paperwork. [More]
Until the recent launch of the generic EpiPen, the only affordable competitor available to the emergency allergy treatment was Adrenaclick, but that drug was hard to find and some pharmacies charged nearly as much as they did for EpiPen. Now CVS says it is selling two-packs of an authorized generic of Adrenaclick at about one-sixth of the price tag for brand-name EpiPen. [More]
A day after Mylan was one of six pharmaceutical companies named in a multi-state lawsuit alleging price-fixing on generic drugs, the maker of high-priced emergency allergy treatment EpiPen announced that the generic version of the popular epinephrine auto-injector is finally hitting the market, giving people a lower-cost (but still pricey) option for buying the drug. [More]
When the Justice Department announced it was bringing criminal charges against two former executives of a pharmaceuticals company, alleging a conspiracy to fix prices on generic drugs, we said that this was likely just the tip of the legal iceberg. Today, the industry ran smack into that iceberg — in the form of a lawsuit filed by twenty states against six different drug companies, including notables like Teva and Mylan. [More]
Federal prosecutors have charged both the former CEO and president of a New Jersey pharmaceutical company with illegally conspiring to fix prices on generic drugs, marking the first time the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has prosecuted a case involving generic medications, and could be the first domino in a series of charges still to come against others. [More]
This morning, drug company Mylan announced that it will soon introduce a lower-cost (but still not cheap) generic version of its popular EpiPen emergency allergy treatment. In response, one senator who has been critical of Mylan’s actions says more must be done to make the life-saving drug available. [More]
Facing criticism from patients, consumer advocates, lawmakers, and physicians about huge price increases on the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, drugmaker Mylan today announced it will introduce a generic version of the epinephrine auto-injector for half the current sticker price of the name-brand drug. [More]
If you feel like you’re paying more for medication, you’re not alone. A new investigation from our colleagues at Consumer Reports finds that one-third of Americans are seeing higher prices for prescriptions, and one-in-six people chose to avoid getting a prescription filled because of the cost. So what’s behind the increased cost of staying well? [More]
When a drug patent nears its end, drug companies sometimes do really stupid, potentially illegal things to delay or prevent their bottom line being dinged by a lower-cost generic version. One drug company is accused of not just paying off a generic drug maker to delay the release of its version of two medications, but further hurting consumers by agreeing to not compete with the generic. [More]
You’re probably used to the idea of your doctor prescribing you a brand-name drug and your pharmacist automatically substituting a lower-cost generic equivalent that saves you, the drugstore, and your insurer money. But there’s a practice in the industry known as “product hopping” that brand-name drug makers can use to repeatedly delay generic versions from reaching consumers. [More]
Imagine that Bob and Mary are the only two kids in town allowed to sell lemonade. They could try to compete against each other, potentially resulting in lower prices, improved juice, or better service… or Mary could say to Bob, “How’s about you pay me some money so I don’t exercise my option to sell lemonade?” That means the price for lemonade is whatever Bob says it is, and he’s encouraged to keep it high because he’s paying some of that money out to Mary. Now imagine this isn’t about lemonade, but about prescription drugs. [More]
Maybe this has happened to you: you’re at the pharmacy, picking up a refill of a prescription that you or a family member have been taking for a long time. It’s a routine errand until you get sticker shock: the copay has suddenly shot up. You didn’t change insurance, it’s still the same year, and the drug is the same: how can a price change so dramatically so quickly? [More]
The country’s second largest pharmacy chain is the latest party in a class-action lawsuit that accuses CVS of deliberately overcharging hundreds of thousands of patients for generic prescription drugs. [More]
In one month, the price of your generic prescription doubles. The first person at your insurance company says “Oops, that’s a mistake,” but a second person tells you that the mistake was actually made when you were charged the original, lower price. Meanwhile, the insurance company’s website tells you that the lower price is the correct one — and none of these people actually seem to give a damn. [More]
Nearly 19 million Americans took advantage of a coupon or manufacturer’s discount on prescriptions last year. But what many of those people may not have known is that, while they did pay less for brand name pills, they could have gotten a generic for even less.
With the economy and job market still stuck in “blargh,” more people are making potentially dangerous decisions about their health care, all in the name of stretching their dollar just a little bit farther.
Many people expressed surprise that drug retailer CVS is a participant in our Worst Company in America tournament. In addition to the everyday issues that a pharmacy/drugstore creates for consumers, though, CVS also owns prescription benefits administrator Caremark. Brandon is a Caremark customer who takes a venerable but still useful medication called Synthroid. He recently ran into a weird situation with his refill, where he was switched to the name-brand medication for no discernible reason. Twice.