This article was originally published on November 30, 2017.
Read moreThe application process to get a prescription from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is complex, with a lot of red tape and fees and no guaranteed answers, even for some of the companies.
The drug approval process takes several years, and a lot is at stake for many patients.
For some, the decision is the difference between life and death.
In Texas, the process has been especially difficult, and the price tag for a generic drug has jumped.
It’s been reported that the cost of generic medicines, including some brand-name drugs, rose from about $6,500 in the first quarter of 2019 to $25,000 in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
It’s not only about the price of the drug, but also the drug itself, said Dr. James Boulton, president of the Texas Medical Association.
The state has been working hard to cut down on the number of drugs approved for sale, and now, with fewer medicines available, the price is soaring, said Michael Gollop, president and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association, a trade group for the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers.
In the last few years, the number one drug for Texas has been generic versions of the drugs approved in other states, he said.
The cost of a generic is a major factor for many Texans.
In Texas, most prescriptions are filled with brand-names, with the price ranging from about a dollar per pill to $60 per pill, according a 2016 analysis by the Institute of Medicine.
The most expensive generic drug in the country, however, is the one approved by the FDA, which costs more than $4,000 per dose, according the American College of Physicians.
The price of a prescription for generic versions is rising faster than the price for brand-named drugs, which are now about $3,000 a dose, said Scott Lofgren, president, Institute of Pharmacy Research.
A study released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America this month found that generic versions were selling for as little as $3.50 per pill in 2018, and that prices for brand names had increased to about $10,000.
A report from the nonprofit group the Commonwealth Fund in May found that the price hikes were leading to a drop in the number or availability of generic drugs in the United States.
The study said there was a clear need for reform.
More:More:Texas is one of just two states where more than 90 percent of prescriptions are written with brand name drugs, and in some areas, that gap has widened.
The problem is that even though the generic drugs are cheaper, they’re less effective and have fewer benefits, according an Institute of Health Economics report published this month.
The study found that those who get the drugs have lower levels of protection against certain types of drug-resistant infections, and fewer health benefits.
For example, the study found a 30 percent drop in mortality rates from drug-resistance infections over a decade, and another 20 percent drop after 10 years.
And it found that in some states, generic versions are no better than brand-patched versions.
The average cost of prescription drugs in Texas has jumped from $1,150 in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $2,100 in the third quarter of 2021, according data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The biggest increases were in the price per dose of the brand- name drugs.
It rose from $3 at the start of 2018, to $4 at the end of 2021.
In addition, the average price per pill was up from $25 in the middle of 2018 and has since increased to $28.
It is the price that the states government pays for the drugs, meaning it makes up for a portion of the costs for states and other entities, said Tom Kline, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.
The states that don’t pay for drugs are the ones that are the most likely to have shortages, Kline said.
In addition to the cost for generic drugs, the drug approval and prescription processes can be very complicated and expensive, said Kline.
In 2018, the cost was estimated at $6.8 billion in federal government spending on drugs, including $1.1 billion on generic drugs.
The total for the last three years was $9.3 billion, with $1 billion of that coming from the federal government, according TxDOT data.
Texas spent more than 2.7 billion dollars in 2016 on generic prescription drugs, according estimates from the state Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Texas spends nearly $1 million for every prescription for brand name medicines, according state data.
In 2018, Texas spent $2.3 million per