The pressure being placed on drug companies to reduce prices as a result of President Donald Trump’s recent proposals, likely will intensify with the Democrats’ taking control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections.

Research by George Ball, assistant professor of operations and decision technologies at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, highlights why consumers should be concerned beyond the high prices of their prescriptions.

Ball is the lead author of a recent paper in the Journal of Operations Management which found that extreme price competition in the generic pharmaceutical market -- designed to make medications more affordable -- may be putting more patients at serious health risk. This was evidenced by a higher number of product recalls caused by manufacturing-related problems.

"Extreme price competition in the generic pharmaceutical market has some unexpected risks that regulators and lawmakers may not have foreseen when pushing for cheaper drugs," Ball said.

“There's a downside to cheaper drugs: You can't guarantee that they're going to be of the exact same quality," Ball said. "This research demonstrates that regulators and insurers may want to temper their intense public pressure placed upon pharmaceutical companies to bring prices down. Such pressure may come at a cost: poorly manufactured drugs."

Ball can point to examples of recent generic drug recalls that occurred because of manufacturing problems. He is available at 812-856-0625 and gpball@indiana.edu. Copies of the paper are available.