Rising Prescription Drug Costs

This week, escalating prescription drug costs made major news for the first time in years.
Sparked by a controversy over Turing Pharmaceutical’s 5000% price increase for Daraprim, a drug commonly used by patients with weak immune systems, prescription drug costs came to the forefront of political and economic conversation. Both leading democratic presidential nominees addressed the issue – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a plan to battle high drug costs and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) highlighted the bill he introduced on Sept. 10th, the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, which would set safeguards in place for the American people. On Tuesday Sep. 22nd, Turing Pharmaceuticals agreed to lower the price of Daraprim under intense public pressure but the discussion is far from over.
Turing Pharmaceuticals is not alone in its price hike. The New York Times writes that prescription drug costs have remained high since the early eighties, growth dipping below 0% for the first time following the 2008 recession and the United States spends more on drugs per capita than any other nation, about $500 more than the global average.

In April 2015 the Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of their Health Tracking Poll showing that the top two health care priorities for respondents were: access to necessary high-cost drugs for chronic conditions and lowering prescription drug prices.
Below, see Bloomberg’s data on price increases of just six major medications.


A Foster

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