The prices of prescription drugs has never been higher in the United States, and the prices of both name brand and generic medicines continue to increase as some companies buy others, and rebrand drugs as a strategy to raise the price and have us, the consumer pay the price of their acquisition while they profit from their strategy.
The most notable in the news today is Milan, with their EpiPen which was purchased in 2007 and retailed for $57 per injector. The Epinephrine inside it costs about $1 and the rest of the price is for the injector which until recently was being priced in two packs for $600. The price we are all paying for lifesaving drugs like this is insane, especially since Epinephrine has an expiration date and the injectors are made to be thrown away if not used by the expiration date.
The pricing of many of these drugs is not that dissimilar to a pyramid scheme, where middle men take large profits along the way, with the retail price reflecting everyone’s piece of the profit puzzle until we, the consumers and our insurers have to pay the bill.
While that is great for a CEO and their stock price, it is lousy for healthcare consumers who are getting a raw deal. The truth is that unless we have a fair pricing system which is based on the cost of development, a reasonable return of investment and transparency, we as Americans are going to be paying ridiculous prices for those drugs we are told we need to help us with the problems we have.
It is quite obvious we can no longer trust the pharmaceutical industry to police itself, and the government, whose policy has been one of hands off (thanks to lobbying) must get their hands dirty as we move toward a single payer system that is enabled to negotiate drug prices, using criteria such as research costs, cost of manufacturing and what is a reasonable price for the product, while looking at what other countries pay for these products as well.
Check out this NY Times article
The Complex Math Behind Spiraling Prescription Drug Prices
By KATIE THOMASAUG. 24, 2016
This is an update of an article that was published earlier this year.
The soaring cost of prescription drugs has generated outrage among politicians and patients. Some cancer drugs carry price tags of more than $100,000 a year, and health plans are increasingly asking people to shoulder a greater share of the cost.
The latest outrage involves the price of EpiPen, a lifesaving injection device for people with severe allergies, which has risen to more than $600 for the list price of a two-pen set, from less than $100 when Mylan acquired the product in 2007.
A bipartisan group of senators has demanded that Mylan explain why the cost of EpiPen has skyrocketed, and others have called for congressional hearings, like those that examined price increases by Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.
In surveys, Americans routinely say drug prices are a top health care concern, and it has been an issue on the presidential campaign trail.
But there are no simple answers.