High generic drug prices affecting Kansans

Local News

Generic drugs are supposed to be a cheaper alternative to name brand ones, but there has been concern some drug makers have been raising prices just to make an extra buck.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced the state is suing 20 drug manufacturers for purposely keeping the price of drugs high.

Kansas joined 42 other states in claiming generic drug makers manipulated prices on more than 100 products. 

“The marketplace doesn’t work when the participants in the market decide to fix prices, rather than allowing competition to take it’s natural course,” said Schmidt.

In some cases the makers raised prices more than 1,000 percent. That made the option that many use to avoid high prescription costs ineffective.

“A brand name drug is going to cost you about 18 times more than a generic drug,” said state director of AARP Kansas, Maren Turner. 

“That’s why most people like to get generics, as a matter of fact, nine out 10 people who have a prescription drug filled get a generic,” she said.

AARP Kansas advocates for people age 50 and older. Turner said members are struggling with the high costs.

“Americans are sick and tired of either having to split pills, skip medication dosages, or choose between prescription drugs and food, and why should they,” she said.

AARP has launched a national campaign to stop the greed in the industry. 

“There is such a large market for pharmaceuticals in modern America, it affects nearly everybody. The amount of money in the system is very, very large, so the effect of illegal conduct that drives up prices is tremendous,” said Schmidt.

The lawsuit was filed in the state of Connecticut earlier this month.

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