Circulation: Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market

A study published in Circulation titled Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market examines for the first time the influence of the thousands of ARB drug recalls (-sartan drugs) on price and accessibility. Although quality is a critical component of the drug market, it has often been theorized that maintaining low costs and broad access would be a tradeoff with quality.

Overall, these data suggest that we do not have to sacrifice quality for low costs because prices did not increase disproportionately after removing poor-quality products from this market. If this is the case, why should we tolerate a generic drug market that looks solely at a price and not at quality, given the quality concerns we reviewed in the cardiology market?

It’s easy to imagine a market where quality factors into purchasing decisions. The generic market is regulated does not mean that the supply chain should defer all quality assessments to FDA inspections and data reported from manufacturers testing their products. Quality could also be monitored and assured by periodic testing of products independently sampled at later stages of the medication supply chain. Consumers could be protected by providing a transparent medication quality score that wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and consumers could check when making purchase decisions.

Ultimately, the healthcare system needs a supply chain accountable to quality. Our analysis suggests that higher-quality products are already available for the same price, but we lack a reliable mechanism for identifying these products. If we prescribe an ARB to help treat a patient with heart failure, it’s not a clinical or economic advantage to use a $0.50 pill of poor quality when a better alternative is already available.

Read the complete study here.

Circulation: Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market

April 20, 2022

A study published in Circulation titled Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market examines for the first time the influence of the thousands of ARB drug recalls (-sartan drugs) on price and accessibility. Although quality is a critical component of the drug market, it has often been theorized that maintaining low costs and broad access would be a tradeoff with quality.

Overall, these data suggest that we do not have to sacrifice quality for low costs because prices did not increase disproportionately after removing poor-quality products from this market. If this is the case, why should we tolerate a generic drug market that looks solely at a price and not at quality, given the quality concerns we reviewed in the cardiology market?

It’s easy to imagine a market where quality factors into purchasing decisions. The generic market is regulated does not mean that the supply chain should defer all quality assessments to FDA inspections and data reported from manufacturers testing their products. Quality could also be monitored and assured by periodic testing of products independently sampled at later stages of the medication supply chain. Consumers could be protected by providing a transparent medication quality score that wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and consumers could check when making purchase decisions.

Ultimately, the healthcare system needs a supply chain accountable to quality. Our analysis suggests that higher-quality products are already available for the same price, but we lack a reliable mechanism for identifying these products. If we prescribe an ARB to help treat a patient with heart failure, it’s not a clinical or economic advantage to use a $0.50 pill of poor quality when a better alternative is already available.

Read the complete study here.

Circulation: Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market

A study published in Circulation titled Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market examines for the first time the influence of the thousands of ARB drug recalls (-sartan drugs) on price and accessibility. Although quality is a critical component of the drug market, it has often been theorized that maintaining low costs and broad access would be a tradeoff with quality.

Overall, these data suggest that we do not have to sacrifice quality for low costs because prices did not increase disproportionately after removing poor-quality products from this market. If this is the case, why should we tolerate a generic drug market that looks solely at a price and not at quality, given the quality concerns we reviewed in the cardiology market?

It’s easy to imagine a market where quality factors into purchasing decisions. The generic market is regulated does not mean that the supply chain should defer all quality assessments to FDA inspections and data reported from manufacturers testing their products. Quality could also be monitored and assured by periodic testing of products independently sampled at later stages of the medication supply chain. Consumers could be protected by providing a transparent medication quality score that wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and consumers could check when making purchase decisions.

Ultimately, the healthcare system needs a supply chain accountable to quality. Our analysis suggests that higher-quality products are already available for the same price, but we lack a reliable mechanism for identifying these products. If we prescribe an ARB to help treat a patient with heart failure, it’s not a clinical or economic advantage to use a $0.50 pill of poor quality when a better alternative is already available.

Read the complete study here.

A study published in Circulation titled Price and Quality in the Generic Pharmaceutical Market examines for the first time the influence of the thousands of ARB drug recalls (-sartan drugs) on price and accessibility. Although quality is a critical component of the drug market, it has often been theorized that maintaining low costs and broad access would be a tradeoff with quality.

Overall, these data suggest that we do not have to sacrifice quality for low costs because prices did not increase disproportionately after removing poor-quality products from this market. If this is the case, why should we tolerate a generic drug market that looks solely at a price and not at quality, given the quality concerns we reviewed in the cardiology market?

It’s easy to imagine a market where quality factors into purchasing decisions. The generic market is regulated does not mean that the supply chain should defer all quality assessments to FDA inspections and data reported from manufacturers testing their products. Quality could also be monitored and assured by periodic testing of products independently sampled at later stages of the medication supply chain. Consumers could be protected by providing a transparent medication quality score that wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and consumers could check when making purchase decisions.

Ultimately, the healthcare system needs a supply chain accountable to quality. Our analysis suggests that higher-quality products are already available for the same price, but we lack a reliable mechanism for identifying these products. If we prescribe an ARB to help treat a patient with heart failure, it’s not a clinical or economic advantage to use a $0.50 pill of poor quality when a better alternative is already available.

Read the complete study here.

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