News Brief: Pharmacists say drug companies overcharge

Pharmacists are dissatisfied with what drug companies charge for their products, claims a survey published in the Sept. 16 issue of Drug Topics magazine.

Almost nine out of 10 pharmacists surveyed said they felt that pharmaceutical companies put too high a price on their new product launches, while 84% said single-source drugs, not yet available as generics, cost too much. In addition, 72% of community pharmacists surveyed said differential pricing still exists, and 15% said it has even increased.

The survey, which was mailed as a questionnaire to 700 retail and hospital pharmacists across the nation, obtained a 34% response rate. Other findings in the survey reveal that nearly nine out of 10 pharmacists don’t believe manufacturers are doing enough to prevent drug shortages, and almost half of respondents say the prescription cards established by many drug companies for seniors offer only negligible savings. Nearly three-quarters of pharmacists said there is too much direct advertising of drugs to consumers.