drugcostsSen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings on Thursday launched an investigation into soaring generic drug prices. “We are conducting an investigation into the recent staggering price increases for generic drugs used to treat everything from common medical conditions to life-threatening illnesses,” Sanders, chairman of a Senate health care subcommittee, and Cummings, ranking member of the House oversight committee, wrote in letters to 14 pharmaceutical companies.

8-2POST SUMMARY: Not only do patients have to worry about which drug company paid their physician, they need to determine if their generic drug is the same as the branded equivalent and if their insurance company will allow their doctor to write for a specific medication.  What is pharma doing to help patients navigate the complex world of empowered patient choices?

fridaynewsPOST SUMMARY: Eight out of 10 prescriptions written in the United States are filled with the no-brand name, generic version of the drug prescribed by a doctor.  The FDA mandates that generic forms of prescription medication contain the same active ingredient as the brand name, but the agency allows the generic version to use different inactive ingredients, including binders to hold the pill together and time release agents to disperse it.