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Blame Season in the Healthcare Sector

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 3, 2012

"The patent cliff has fueled a growing price disparity between brand-name and generic medications," Express Scripts CMO Steve Miller, MD, said in a media release. "The trend emphasizes the nation's continued need for the tools we employ to help patients make better decisions, including generic use when appropriate."

America's Health Insurance Plans flagged the Express Scripts report and issued its own press release.

"To make healthcare coverage more affordable, the nation must address the soaring cost of medical care, including prescription drug prices, which continues to increase at an unsustainable rate. Health plans are working with providers and consumers to help control rising costs through a variety of innovative ways, such as increased utilization of lower-cost generic drugs," AHIP said.

These attacks on drug prices prompted a quick response from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

"By cherry-picking a subset of specialty medicines used by a small number of patients, Express Scripts gives a misleading impression of prescription drug spending," the drug makers' lobby said. "While representing a small share of overall health spending, some of these medicines represent the newest and most innovative therapies, giving hope to patients who previously had few treatment options."

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