Efforts to control drug prices have highlighted the role of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Rather than driving efficiencies, this complex web of highly concentrated intermediaries with proprietary contracts may instead raise prices.1
Much attention has focused on brand name drugs, although recent reports show that intermediaries can capture significant profits in the generic market as well.2 With 88% of Medicare Part D prescriptions dispensed for generic medications in 2018,3 excess profits retained by intermediaries in the generic supply chain could be substantial. This analysis compared the amount Medicare pays for common generic prescriptions in Part D with prices available to patients without insurance at Costco.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
We appreciate Dr. Cochran's interest in our article.
People who are not Costco members can purchase prescription drugs from Costco, but prices differ for members and non-members. In our study, we were unable to estimate the magnitude of this difference for the drugs in our sample, given the information that was available to us.
Trish E, Gascue L, Ribero R, Van Nuys K, Joyce G. Comparison of Spending on Common Generic Drugs by Medicare vs Costco Members. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 06, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.3366
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: