Generic Drug Pricing: Actionable Research for Policy


The Waxman-Hatch Act has led to more generic drugs entering the market as well as vigorous price competition. Yet recent studies indicate that half of all generic drugs became more expensive in the past two years, and that price increases have been concentrated among generic drugs. These price increases may signal market failure. More empirical analysis is needed to identify the causes so that policymakers can address them. This project has four aims: 1) describe price increases in generics over the last decade, both by molecule and therapeutic class; 2) identify the correlates of generic price increases and undertake multivariate analysis to unravel the causes of these increases; 3) quantify the financial burden of price increases on patients and payers; and 4) propose policy options based on the findings and quantify their potential impact.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Principal Investigator:
Meredith Rosenthal, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
April 12, 2016

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