Doctors, nurses and pharmacists can’t buy the same drugs for the same reasons they can’t pay for them
The same drugs used by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals can’t be bought on the same shelves at the same pharmacy, a new study finds.
The study, published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, shows that if pharmacists are allowed to buy generic versions of the same medicines, they will have little competition in their price range.
The study, which involved analyzing pharmacy data from more than 10,000 pharmacy owners, found that a generic version of a medicine will have less competition in its price range than a generic counterpart in its manufacturer’s price range, with some manufacturers offering less expensive versions of their medicines.
This is a very concerning situation because it means that when we buy a generic drug, we are subsidizing their manufacture by subsidizing the manufacturers of the medicine, the study found.
It is also a problem for pharmacists because there is a big difference between the price of the generic medicine and the price that they are charging to the pharmacy, which can be quite costly, said study co-author Laura Schatz, a pharmacology and pharmacology professor at the University of Illinois.
So, it is a double whammy, she said.
It also means that pharmacists may be losing money in the long run because they can no longer compete in a market that is already saturated.
There are a lot of different generic drug companies competing, and that’s where the competition comes in, said Schatz.
This is where there is competition, she added.
Pharmacists have a unique perspective in that they have a different way of looking at the world, and they have to balance competing with other things, like health care, she noted.
In the study, the researchers looked at a group of products that are currently sold by generic drugmakers like Pfizer, Merck and Teva, and those products are being offered by a variety of pharmacy chains.
They analyzed data from 11 pharmacy chains from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Pharmacy chains are a big business,” Schatz said.
“They are a very important part of our health care system.
But they’re also very different from pharmaceutical companies, and we want to understand what happens when they compete with each other.”
To conduct the study of pharmacies, Schatz used data from the Pharmacy Owners Association, a trade group that represents pharmacists, to look at the price ranges of different brands of medicines sold in pharmacies.
While it’s common for health care professionals to use generic versions to make sure they’re able to buy the correct medicines, it’s not common for them to purchase the same generic versions in the same pharmacies, so the study focused on this problem, said Mark Jaffe, a professor of pharmacy at the California Institute of Technology.
He said it’s a common problem because people don’t know that the medicine they are using isn’t the same one that they would buy for themselves, and so there is not much incentive to pay extra for a generic.
If you are the owner of a pharmacy, it becomes much more difficult to compete in the market, because there are a bunch of different companies competing,” he said.
People who are in a situation where they’re using a generic medicine for a chronic condition might have a better chance at making a profit, Jaffe said.
If a generic is used in a chronic illness, for example, there’s a higher chance that the generic will have better quality of medicine than the brand, he said, adding that the higher-quality version of the drug is likely to be cheaper.
However, if a chronic health condition is not covered under Medicare, the pharmaceutical company may be able to charge more for a cheaper version of their medicine, Schatsatz said, so it could potentially be a problem.
The study found that pharmacist prices of generic medicines will drop if a company offers more competitive versions of its medicine, but they will not go down in price if the generic version has fewer features, such as better brand names, the price will still be higher, and pharmacies will continue to be profitable, the authors said.
For example, the drug Merck Pharmaceuticals Inc., which makes generics of blood pressure drugs, said that it plans to offer a generic in a few months, but would only offer it to pharmacies that had more than 500 employees, the Los Angeles Times reported.
This story has been updated to include the study’s findings.
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