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Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny
San Francisco Chronicle

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers. A Senate panel met Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded counterparts. Experts said there are multiple, often unrelated, forces behind the price hikes, including drug ingredient shortages, industry consolidation and production slowdowns due to manufacturing problems.

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