Will speeding the production of generic drugs really cut pharmaceutical costs, as our Legislature hopes?

I take two generic medications. One has been marketed in the U.S. for more than 30 years, the other for only about a decade. Together, the “retail” prices – the “usual and customary” rates for which my insurance company claims reimbursement – total more than $500 per month.

That’s $6,000 per year that my insurance company pays for “low-cost” generic substitutes for brand-name medications. Paying for just those “low-cost” medications at retail would eat up 16 percent of an average Mainer’s income.

The problem with pharmaceutical costs isn’t the lack of access to generic medications. It’s the industry’s pricing structure. Speeding the production of more overpriced generic meds won’t solve anyone’s health care problems.

Carlene Byron