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    The top pharmacy challenges in 2016


    Generic drugs are no exception

    Even generic drugs, formerly considered the low-cost alternative to branded drugs, have not dodged price increases.


    Scott Schnuckle, senior vice president, pharmacy and business development, HealthPartners, says rising generic drug costs might be due to consolidation among pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, which knocks out competition and enables cost increases.

    Bennett agrees. “Where else are monopolies allowed when providing an essential life resource?” he asks.

    Sarah Marche, vice president, pharmacy markets for Highmark, says that generics were "a no-brainer" in the past, but they are no longer always the lowest cost option.

    While they were always on the lowest formulary tier, Marche says Highmark is moving some of them to higher tiers because of higher costs. She points to drug price inflation as astronomical, from an expected annual 9% to 10% nationally to 20% to 25%, with specialty drugs playing a role in that increase. 

    Next: Addressing the problem


    Mari Edlin
    Mari Edlin is a frequent contributor to Managed Healthcare Executive. She is based in Sonoma, California.


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