Friday, October 25, 2013

Pharmacist told raw ingredient shortage cause of rising prescription prices

ATLANTA — You may notice an increase in your prescriptions.

Tanisha Clark certainly has noticed. She has to take a daily medication, but has now stopped taking them on a daily basis.
"I used to take a 90-day supply. I no longer get it filled because I can't afford it," Clark told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston.

Pharmacist Ira Katz has noticed the same thing.

"I'm just absolutely astounded by the proliferation of price increases in the generic drug industry," Katz said.

Katz says medication that used to cost $10 is now several hundred dollars.

"That's significant. Absolutely amazing," He said.

Katz told Huddleston the reason he got for the increase was because of a shortage of raw ingredients.

Katz said he is skeptical, and so is patient advocate Dorothy Leone-Glasser.

"I think there is another reason behind that," Leone-Glasser said.

Katz agrees. He suspects drug or insurance companies are increasing prices now, before the Affordable Care Act starts in March 2014 and they aren't able to increase prices.

Katz doesn't recommend you stop taking your medication as prescribed. Talk to your doctor first about switching the medication first.

"A lot of doctors are unaware of these increases, so we're having to call a doctor and say, 'Look this patient can't afford the cost of this medication, could we switch to something similar in the same class that hopefully could do the job?'" Katz said.

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