TUESDAY, Sept. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Pharmaceutical companies appear to be engaging in price gouging during drug shortages, with costs rising at double the normal rate when medications are in limited supply, a new study claims.
Prices can be expected to rise about 20 percent for drugs facing a shortage, but only about 9 percent for medicines in good supply, researchers report.
“It’s clear the manufacturers are opportunistically pricing in a setting where they see a supply-and-demand mismatch,” said senior researcher Dr. William Shrank. He is chief medical officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center insurance services division.
The presence of competition tends to hold down price increases that occur during a shortage, the researchers also found.