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Average Manufacturer Prices Increased Faster Than Inflation for Many Generic Drugs

Generic drug price increases exceeded the specified statutory inflation factor applicable to brand-name drugs for 22 percent of the quarterly average manufacturer prices we reviewed. If the provision for brand-name drugs were extended to generic drugs, the Medicaid program would receive additional rebates. We calculated that Medicaid would have received a total of $1.4 billion in additional rebates for the top 200 generic drugs, ranked by Medicaid reimbursement, from 2005 through 2014. The additional rebates for the top 200 generic drugs increased most years, from more than $39 million in 2005 to more than $464 million in 2014.

Our findings are consistent with our previous work and support our prior recommendation that CMS consider seeking legislative authority to extend the additional rebate provisions to generic drugs. On November 2, 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (P.L. No. 114-74) was enacted and included provisions extending the additional rebate to generic drugs. The additional rebate for generic drugs will apply to rebate periods beginning with the first quarter of 2017. Therefore, we are not making any additional recommendations.

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