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Capitol Health Call
June 14, 2016

Price Hikes of Old Prescription Drugs Affect Physicians, Hospitals, Patients

JAMA. 2016;315(22):2389. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6599

Sudden price hikes of decades-old prescription drugs represent a market failure with far-reaching consequences, Sen Susan Collins (R, Maine), chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, said at a series of hearings on the subject (http://1.usa.gov/1rezDbf).

At the April hearing, retiree Berna Heyman described what happened when Valeant Pharmaceuticals bought the 2 main drugs for treating her Wilson disease, a potentially life-threatening genetic disorder in which the body cannot remove extra copper.