MEDICINE@BROWN: Spiraling drug costs leave patients behind

As sticker prices of prescription drugs soared in recent years, pharmaceutical companies have claimed that greater manufacturer discounts and rebates buffered those increases. But a new study in JAMA Network Open suggests these price reductions weren’t enough to take the sting out of rising costs for patients and insurers.

Over seven years, the researchers found, the list prices of several commonly used drugs in their study more than doubled, while rebates and discounts, though larger, took only a modest bite out of the increase in payments by patients and insurers. In absolute terms, they paid over 50 percent more for the same medications than they had at the beginning of the study period.

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