Finally, a little good health care news for consumers: U.S. prices for generic prescription drugs, which already cost as little as one-third what their brand-name cousins do, have been getting cheaper and likely will keep doing so.
The causes? The ultra-low prices for generic prescriptions offered by giant retailers and drugstore chains and intense competition among the many generic drugmakers fighting for sales, according to health information firm IMS Health.
Those pricing pressures forced down dollar sales of generic drugs in the U.S. by 2.7 percent in the year ending in September, even though the number of generic prescriptions filled actually increased by 5.4 percent over the year before, IMS reported Wednesday.
"We're seeing the combination of pressure from large retailers to make generics available at ever-lower prices for their customers" and the intensified competition among generic drugmakers leading them to cut prices, said Murray Aitken, senior vice president of the Healthcare Insight unit at IMS.
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