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Generic drugs often provide consumers with a low cost alternative to the exorbitantly high cost of brand name drugs. However, a new University of Florida study shows that the price of generics is on the rise as a result of the lack of competition among drug manufacturers.

Considering the fact that more than 4 in 5 prescriptions filled in the U.S. are for generic drugs, this presents an increasing challenge for the majority of Americans seeking low cost options for the high price of brand name drugs.

As the lead author of the study stated, “The U.S. health care system has recently witnessed a relatively new phenomenon where prices for some older generic drugs have increased hundreds — even thousands — of percentage points in a short time span,” said Chintan Dave, Pharm.D., a graduate student in the UF College of Pharmacy’s department of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy.

The study reviewed drug prices between 2008 and 2013, analyzing more than a billion drug claims, and found that prices went down about 32% when there was significant competition; and prices went up about 47% when there was little to no competition.

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