Brand-Name Prescription Drug Pricing: Lack of Therapeutically Equivalent Drugs and Limited Competition May Contribute to Extraordinary Price Increases

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The growing cost of brand-name prescription drugs--FDA-approved drug products that typically have patent protection--is a concern for patients, payers, and providers of health care--particularly when price increases are large and occur suddenly. A 2008 congressional hearing by the Joint Economic Committee drew attention to some small market prescription drugs that had an extraordinary price increase--a price increase of 100 percent or more at a single point in time. GAO was asked to examine extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs. Specifically, GAO examined the: (1) frequency ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 22, 2009.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The growing cost of brand-name prescription drugs--FDA-approved drug products that typically have patent protection--is a concern for patients, payers, and providers of health care--particularly when price increases are large and occur suddenly. A 2008 congressional hearing by the Joint Economic Committee drew attention to some small market prescription drugs that had an extraordinary price increase--a price increase of 100 percent or more at a single point in time. GAO was asked to examine extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs. Specifically, GAO examined the: (1) frequency of extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs from 2000 to 2008, (2) characteristics of the brand-name prescription drugs that had extraordinary price increases, and (3) factors that contributed to the extraordinary price increases experienced by these brand-name prescription drugs. To determine the frequency and characteristics of the brand-name prescription drugs that experienced an extraordinary price increase, GAO reviewed drug pricing and other data from a pharmaceutical industry compendium. To illustrate the factors that may contribute to extraordinary price increases, GAO developed case studies of six brand-name prescription drugs identified from the analysis of drug pricing data. These brand-name prescription drugs were selected based on factors including price, and the percentage and number of price increases."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 22, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Brand-Name Prescription Drug Pricing: Lack of Therapeutically Equivalent Drugs and Limited Competition May Contribute to Extraordinary Price Increases, report, December 22, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301918/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.