Generic Drug Prices Vary Significantly Across Hospitals

In an effort to increase transparency, CMS now requires hospitals to provide pricing information for all medications and services. A recent GoodRx analysis of 12 common generic medications in 16 hospitals found that hospital chargemaster prices of generic drugs are higher than the average retail price at pharmacies and vary markedly from hospital to hospital. For instance, one 50 mg tablet of sertraline (generic for depression and anxiety drug Zoloft) costs $57 a pill at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas but just 50 cents a pill in Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in West Virginia. In addition, among the 16 hospitals GoodRx analyzed, only six fully complied with CMS price transparency mandates.

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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