FDA: Price of some generic drugs way up from last year

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The prices of some generic drugs are rising significantly.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the prices of some generic drugs is up more than 1,000 percent in the last year. More than 8 in 10 prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.

"We just see overnight these astronomical rises in prices," said Dr. Brandon Cooper, president of Arkansas Pharmacists Association and pharmacist at Soo's Drug Store.

Congress is investigating the cause of this sudden rise. They are focusing on 10 drugs whose large prices increases came to their attention.

"It will affect us a whole lot because he gets his medication through the VA but we still have to pay," said Louise Roddy, a Jonesboro resident. 

Roddy is among thousands who will be impacted by these changes. Late last week, lawmakers sent letters to 14 drug makers that make or distribute 10 generic drugs hoping to get answers. 

"You've got to be kidding me," said Zelda Adams who believes this increase could be the reason her co-pay has gone up. "I don't like it and I wish it would go back down."

H.R. 4437 was introduced by Representatives Doug Collins and Dave Loebsack in hopes of increasing transparency of generic drugs .Cooper said a lot of patients have been shielded from these rising costs.

"When people pay a co-pay they really don't see what the drug actually costs and this is a problem we've been seeing in the last couple years," he said. And the drugs are not connected to one particular illness.

"Anything from cholesterol medication to heart medication to antibiotics, it's starting to spread into just about every drug category," Cooper said. 

Lawmakers may hold hearings depending on the response from drug makers, which is due by October 23.

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