(HealthDay News) — Pennsylvania physicians have called for state- and national-level medical associations to take an active role in addressing the issue of increasing generic drug prices, according to an article published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
In 2015 alone, prescription drug prices increased by 10.43 percent, when combining branded, specialty, and generic drugs. The cost of branded and specialty medications increased 14.77 and 9.21 percent, respectively, while generics increased at 2.93 percent overall. According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator, the inflation rate was less than 1 percent through 2015.
During the 10-year period from 2005 to 2014, 22 percent of the top generic drugs rose faster than inflation. From 2013 to 2014, the price of generics such as Mylan NV’s albuterol sulfate increased by 4,000 percent. Medications for symptoms of menopause and gout increased more than 33 percent in 2015.
“What good are medications if they price themselves out and patients decide to forego a visit to the pharmacy because it would create a financial strain,” Scott Shapiro, M.D., president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, said in a statement. “I can understand that some of the increase comes as a result of research needs, but when it outpaces inflation by large margins, tough questions need to be asked and solutions need to be found.”