Alert
Close

Earn Double Rewards Points: Take the AARP Social Security True/False Quiz

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

2014 NATIONAL EVENT

Health & Wellness
AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-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.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.