Why did these generic drugs’ prices jump as much as 85%? | MarketWatch

On June 13, as members of a Senate health panel gathered to discuss the rising cost of prescription drugs, the prices of 14 common medications were increased by some 20% to 85%.

The affected drugs would appear to be unlikely candidates for price hikes. All were generic drugs, which lack patent protection and therefore tend to be much less expensive, with prices, in fact, largely declining over time.

One drug, which saw an 85% increase in its price, is used to treat tuberculosis. An anti-seizure drug’s price rose 63%. A drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was increased by 47%.

An unlikely entity’s name appears on the medications’ labels: AmerisourceBergen Corp.’s ABC, +1.09% American Health Packaging unit.

That most consumers don’t know about and will never interact with a company like AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest U.S. drug distributors, speaks to the complexity of the sprawling U.S. pharmaceutical system, which enlists pharmaceutical middlemen to negotiate prices and distribute drugs.

The blame for rising drug prices once fell squarely on drug makers. But it has shifted at least in part to industry middlemen, with critics saying those companies benefit from high prices and help drive them up. In turn, the middlemen point back to drugmakers, charging that they set the prices in the first place.

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Why did these generic drugs’ prices jump as much as 85%? – MarketWatch.