Big Pharma games the system to make generic drugs more expensive - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • GoodRx chief of research Thomas Goetz said drugmakers are gaming the system to make generic drugs more expensive, MarketWatch reported Friday.

  • According to Goetz, drugmakers frequently raise the prices of branded products soon before patent expiry, which consequently leads generic drugmakers to based their discounts on the newer higher price.

  • "What was striking for us was how visible those price spikes were in the months right before the generic comes out," remarked Goetz, adding "in essence, the system is not getting the benefit of a discounted price, as seen a few months before."

  • In the analysis, GoodRx discovered that the price of Pfizer's cardiovascular drug Nitrostat surged 56 percent one year before generic competitors reached the market, while the price of AstraZeneca's Crestor was increased several times, including a 15-percent hike months before generic competition.

  • Other drugs cited in the analysis included GlaxoSmithKline's Avodart, Otsuka's Abilify and Shire's Intuniv.

  • Commenting on the news, Holly Campbell, deputy vice president of public affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, argued that focusing on the list price "misrepresents the dynamics of the competitive marketplace for medicines," adding that the report was misleading because it "cherry-picks data."

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