(ABC Nightline) With Generic Prescription Drug Prices Surging, Families Are Feeling the Squeeze

When Tricia Salese called her local pharmacy for a price check on her next prescription refill, she was stunned when the pharmacist told her the cost of her generic-brand pain medication had gone up again.

Salese, 49, started talking fentanyl citrate, the generic version of Actiq, a powerful painkiller, in 2010, and she takes three doses per day. Back then, she said, the price per dose was 50 cents. Now, the pharmacist told her when she called, it was going to cost her $37.49 per dose.

“I thought $25 [per dose for generics] was a lot. $37 is just– What is this stuff made of? I mean, this is ridiculous,” Salese said.

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3 comments on “(ABC Nightline) With Generic Prescription Drug Prices Surging, Families Are Feeling the Squeeze

  1. David Keller says:

    This article presents the bigger issue of why someone would be prescribed Actiq for 5 years. Actiq is not supposed to be used for everyday pain no matter how bad it might be. If this lady is not dying of cancer (which she clearly isn’t) she shouldn’t be on it, and since its been 5 years, I have serious questions about the quality of her medical care. I see this all the time in my job. Doctors don’t know what to do so they pawn patients off on pain therapy clinics who do nothing but give people drugs. The fact that this is being given for endometriosis is also very confusing. I obviously know nothing about this lady’s particular situation, but her addiction is medically/professionally induced and quite confusing. The data are quite clear that doctors over prescribe. Also, there are clear data that being on something like Actiq for that long severely reduces its efficacy. I am not uncompassionate. Exactly the opposite. It would be much cheaper for this lady to get some comprehensive and holistic care/diagnosis/treatment than pay $37 a pill for something that was never intended to be used for her problem. If this was meth or crack, we’d be up in arms. There is very little difference here.

  2. Dan Crawford says:

    I discovered last month that the three months supply of Sotalol I take for my heart condition has increased in price by nearly 300% – an increase which is criminal, price gouging in the extreme. Mr. Keller’s comment is beside the point. What is permitted corporate medicine and Big Pharma needs to be addressed by this Congress. But the Congress will do nothing. As one who paid into Medicare for more than 40, I am appalled that Congress will not permit the Medicare program to bargain with the pharmaceutical companies. The Congress will, of course, do whatever they can to reduce Medicare benefits even further.

  3. Dan Crawford says:

    I paid into it for more than 40 years.