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August 2017

Generic Drugs—Changes in Cost and Challenges in Practice

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Penn State Hershey Medical Cancer, Hershey, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(8):745-746. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1129

To do nothing is within the power of all (wo)men.

Samuel Johnson

One of our patients is a woman in her 80s, on Medicare, who has newly diagnosed psoriasis, macular degeneration, and insulin-dependent diabetes. Her current medication expenses account for 25% of her fixed monthly income of less than $2500. She is in the “donut hole,” the point at which she pays a larger share of drug costs. The prescribed 60-g tube of generic clobetasol propionate, 0.05%, cream was $447, and she was responsible for 51% of the cost. She decided to forego treatment because she could not afford the additional $227 expense.