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AARP cites big jump in Rx prices

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK A report by AARP indicated that prices for branded drugs have increased at a rate outpacing the rate of inflation by more than six percentage points.

 

The report found that manufacturers’ prices for branded drugs increased by 9% last year, compared with the general inflation rate of 3.8%. Meanwhile, prices of generic drugs decreased, on average, by 10.6%.

 

 

Generic drugs have already grown significantly over the years, accounting for 69% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but 16% of money spent on prescriptions, according to IMS Health. In 2007, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the average price of a generic prescription drug was $34.34, compared to $119.51 for a branded drug.

 

 

Price increases for branded drugs significantly higher than the overall rate of inflation, mixed with the recession, are likely to drive more consumers to generics. According to AARP, nearly a quarter of all older Americans skip medication doses because of the cost, while other studies have shown that many Americans facing economic hardship don’t have prescriptions filled at all.

 

 

At the same time, many branded pharmaceutical drugs – not to mention biologics – don’t yet have a generic version. This could create difficulties for elderly and other patients who may be able switch to medications that are cheaper, but different from what they take, or who take biologic drugs or newer drugs that have no equivalent on the market.

 

 

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said the report indicated that generic medicines are “the right choice for better health.”

 

 

“During these difficult economic times, it is truly disturbing to hear reports that our nation’s seniors cannot afford their prescription drug costs,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement responding to the report. “No one should be forced to choose between putting food on their table and paying for needed medicines.”

 

 

Jaeger also said the report illustrated the need for a regulatory pathway for biosimilars.

 

 

“It’s time to do right by our seniors and all Americans struggling with healthcare costs by approving legislation that brings safe, effective and affordable biogeneric medicines to patients sooner rather than later,” Jaeger said. “GPhA also strongly believes that increasing funding for FDA would ensure the more timely approval of generic medicines, increasing the opportunity for consumers to save immediately.”

 

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D’Agostino Supermarkets Inc. mourns the death of Neil Buckley

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK D’Agostino Supermarkets announced the passing of its director of grocery.

Cornelius (Neil) Buckley, the company’s director of grocery, health and beauty aids, and general manager died Tuesday morning. Buckley joined the ranks of D’Agostino management five years years ago.

“Neil was passionate about his work, a key contributor to D’Agostino and an extraordinary team player, beloved by D’Agostino associates at every level; he will be missed professionally and personally,” said Nicholas D’Agostino III, president and COO of D’Agostino Supermarkets.

Prior to D’Agostino Supermarkets, Buckley worked at US Merchandise for 10 years. A New York native, Buckley graduated from St. John’s University.

Buckley is survived by his wife, Kathryn and five children.  A private funeral will be held in Long Island, where he resided.

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Tigris names new chairman of the board

BY Alaric DeArment

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. A privately held drug maker that develops cancer treatments has appointed a new chairman of its board of directors.

Tigris Pharmaceuticals announced Thursday that it appointed Pedro Granadillo to the position. Granadillo has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years, including a term as SVP of Eli Lilly & Co., serving as on the Indianapolis-based drug maker’s executive committee and as head of human resources, manufacturing and quality.

“Pedro’s appointment as chairman of the board of directors will further expand his leadership role within our company and will play a key role in our partnering efforts and corporate strategy,” Tigris CEO Edmundo Muniz said in a statement. “We are pleased to have such a widely respected and experienced senior pharmaceutical executive chair our board of directors.”

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