facebook Some good news about drug prices! (Caveat: They’re still high)

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Some good news about drug prices! (Caveat: They’re still high)

It’s not often that Voices for Affordable Health can report that the prices of most prescription drugs in the United States did not rise during the second quarter of this year.

That’s right. Unfortunately, drug prices aren’t dropping either.

An analysis by GoodRx, a company that tracks drug prices from more than 70,000 U.S. pharmacies, found that between April 1 and June 30, 2019, the average list price of both brand and generic drugs remained basically flat – falling by just .34 percent.

There’s no indication what consumers might expect the rest of the year. Doug Hirsch, co-CEO of GoodRx, writes “flat prices are not a solution – they just freeze the problem for a spell.”

The GoodRx report also includes some interesting data about drug pricing and use.

For example:

  • While the trend overall was flat, prices on 37 brand drugs did increase during the second quarter. GenVisc 850, an injectable drug used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee, took the biggest jump, rising 135.1 percent to $159.60 per 2.5 ml syringe.
  • Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco were the most expensive cities for prescription medications, with prices 10 percent higher than the national average. Prices in Seattle were 2.53 percent above average; Portland 4.84 percent below average and Salt Lake City 10.4 percent below average.
  • The most-commonly prescribed types of drugs differed by geography. For example in Idaho, Utah and 23 other states, the drugs most often prescribed were SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors used to treat mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. In Oregon, Washington and five other states, statins, used to lower cholesterol levels were the most often prescribed.

What has your experience been? Have the prices for your prescriptions stabilized? Share your experience with Voices for Affordable Health.