In a practice that policy experts say smothers competition and keeps prices high, drug companies routinely make hidden pacts with middlemen that effectively block patients from getting cheaper generic medicines. Such agreements “make it difficult for generics to compete or know what they’re competing against,” said Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Issue: Drug Prices
Rising costs of prescription drugs have strained hospital budgets and operations, forcing health systems to cut costs by reducing staff, according to a new study. Hospital drug spending increased by 18.5 percent between 2015 and 2017, a rate far exceeding medical inflation for the period. US community hospitals spent an average of $555.40 on prescription drugs for each admitted patient in 2017.