Painkiller that once cost $138 is now $2,979

(CNN/Money) An Irish drugmaker has jacked up the price of a painkiller to nearly $3,000 a bottle. The drug is 22 times more expensive than when the company acquired it in late 2013.

The sticker shock for Horizon Pharma’s Vimovo drug is magnified by the fact that the painkiller’s two main ingredients can be purchased separately — for just $36.

Although patients typically pay just a fraction of the price for Vimovo, the dramatic price increase underlines what critics describe as a murky and wasteful system that ultimately leads to higher health care costs for all Americans.

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