It’s no secret that healthcare costs are going up in the USA. It is also no secret that drugs cost more here than anywhere else.
HIV treatment has kept many sufferers from the disease healthy.
Britain’s National Health service will negotiate to get the best price on a drug. Unlike the USA, where insurance companies show a high tolerance for high costs (probably because as costs go up, their percentage of profit increases as well), Britain will negotiate hard with generic drug manufacturers to get the best price. Their system is a social system designed to offer health care for all Briton’s at an affordable cost to the country. In the USA, on the other hand, our Medicare bill was passed without any ability or will to negotiate costs. Since a large amount of the drug usage in the USA is in the senior population, this has given insurance companies pricing power.
The drug Truvada is priced at 20,000 dollars, while the newer Mylan equivalent is priced at 12,000 dollars. These are huge amounts and we have no idea what these drugs cost to make. If we had that information, we would understand how to negotiate their price.
Apparently, in Britain they do and the cost is $55 per year for a generic version of Truvada. How do we justify paying as much as we do, when the drug costs so little to make?
Check out this article on Great Britain’s National Health service and how they negotiate the prices of drugs. Maybe we as a country can learn something.
Britons Pay Hundreds for H.I.V. Drugs. Why Do Americans Pay Thousands?
Britain’s National Health Service far outperforms America’s health care system — for far less money — at keeping H.I.V. patients healthy.
By Tina Rosenberg Sept. 25, 2018
Ms. Rosenberg is a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, which supports rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.
Last week, the High Court of England and Wales announced a momentous decision: It invalidated the pharmaceutical company Gilead’s patent on Truvada, opening the way to generic competition.
Truvada, a combination of two drugs, is one of the world’s most-used H.I.V. medicines. For treating H.I.V., it’s used along with a third drug. But many H.I.V.-negative people also take Truvada daily as a preventive. That’s called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
In the United States, Truvada is available only as a brand-name drug. It costs $20,000 a year.
Here’s how it will work in Britain’s National Health Service, according to Dr. Andrew Hill, a senior research fellow at Liverpool University who studies the cost of medicines. “The N.H.S. will say to a group of generic companies: ‘We need PrEP for 20,000 people. Give us your best price.’” The cost of making PrEP is $55 per year, Dr. Hill said. He believes that the generic will sell for between $100 and $200.