Belk: Generic Drug Pricing Going Down


Hello again and Happy thanksgiving…………
Good news is a pretty rare thing when discussing health care costs in the US. In fact, good news has been a rare thing overall this year. This is why I was rather shocked to discover very good news in the last place I would ever expect to find it: prescription medication prices.

While the media has been talking about EpiPens and such, the real news (to me anyway) is that the average cost of generic prescription medications has gone down this year. That’s right; down.

Not by much. The average price pharmacies in the US paid for the 1,240 generic listings I’ve been tracking went down was about 2.5% since January. But you might remember, these drug prices were skyrocketing just a few years ago. In 2013, the prices of the medications I’m tracking rose an average of 55% just that year.

Also, more than twice as many generic listings fell significantly in price than went up in price.

Now the prices of brand name medications are still going up by double digits, but five out of six prescriptions filled in the US are for generic medications. Also, any relief in health care costs is more than welcome.

So, here is the blog I wrote:

Here are the full study results (if you like details):

And, for the flip side, here is what’s been happening to brand name prices at the same time (which is never good news):

Dave Belk MD