As U.S. spending on pharmaceuticals continues to rise, reaching $373.9 billion in 2014, government scrutiny of drug pricing practices has increased in response.
Early last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a request from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that the government agency investigate “the alarming rates” at which the prices of generic drugs increased from July 2013 to December 2014. In their April 13, 2015, letter the OIG responded that it planned to examine quarterly average manufacturer price (AMP) for the top 200 drugs from 2005 to 2014 to determine if the AMPs exceed the statutory inflation factor, and to determine the amount of additional rebates Medicaid would have received if the inflation factor applied to generic drugs. Although OIG agreed to follow up on a number of the lawmakers’ requests, the letter states that OIG does not currently have plans to “review the effect of generic drug price increases on the Medicare program.” Read More >>