Opinion: Outdated rule increases Medicare’s costs for generic drugs by $26 billion a year

Public outcry about the shockingly high cost of brand-name drugs and a demand for new laws to rein in the cost of these medicines has persisted for years. But more than 90% of all prescriptions — almost 4 billion a year — are filled with generic drugs.

Little attention has been paid to how much insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies charge to fill these generic prescriptions. Yet the difference between the highest and lowest price being charged for the same generic drug is so large that many billions of dollars could be saved each year by having prescriptions filled at the lowest-cost pharmacies.

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