Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning Centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Drugmakers Hike Prices of Meds Facing Generic Competition

Drugs going off patent protection often go up in cost

Brand-name drugs typically receive between 12 and 20 years of patent protection. When this expires, lower-cost generic versions that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as having the same medical effectiveness are allowed on the market. Their use has saved the U.S. health care system $824 billion over the past decade, and nearly $140 billion in 2009 alone, according to IMS Health, a company that tracks drug industry trends.

Using generics instead of brand names also saves consumers money, because insurers charge significantly lower copays for them. Medicare Part D enrollees often find that switching to generics helps them avoid the doughnut hole.

Brand-name manufacturers usually do not lower their prices when they start facing generic competition, but instead continue to raise them, the Price Watch analysis found. "Thus, consumers that choose to continue taking a brand name product are not likely to experience any price relief at patent expiration," the report says.

Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do