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Article
May 8, 1987

Cost and Price of Comparable Branded and Generic Pharmaceuticals

Author Affiliations

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health Harrisburg

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health Harrisburg

JAMA. 1987;257(18):2437. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390180053017
Abstract

To the Editor.—  The authors of the article entitled "Cost and Price of Comparable Branded and Generic Pharmaceuticals"1 did yeoman's work in gathering their cost/price data. However, there is one major factor that was ignored by the study that should have been foremost in the authors' minds when they chose the drugs for branded and generic price comparisons. Lasix, Persantine, Indocin, and Premarin were not substitutable generically in Pennsylvania during the period of the study. This would cause the pharmacist to take the costly extra step of contacting the physician for a new prescription and to specially order a supply of the requested generic drug. The collected pricing data for drug substitution services at Pennsylvania pharmacies would thus tend to be higher than might otherwise be expected.The need to obtain additional medical information and documentation must be considered in determining the actual cost of drugs, as with other

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