Crucial Conversations with Dr. Keith Newby: Prescription Drug Prices. Why Is The Cost So High? Episode 4
Modern medicine is a miracle, and by it’s aid we’ve experienced significant gains in human life expectancy over the past century. It has allowed a quality of life never seen before, especially for people in the later stages of their lives. However, these gains have come at an exaggerated cost.
According to the Health Policy Institute, on average, two out of three American adults take prescription medications. The CDC states that, almost half of the adults in the U.S. have taken a prescription drug in the past month.
Prescription medication costs consume large portions of Americans’ monthly budgets. Research suggests that the average U.S. citizen spends approximately $1,200 yearly on prescription drugs. That is 2.5 times higher than the average cost paid by citizens of the remaining 32 OECD nations.
So, why do we pay so much more for our life saving medications?
Large pharmaceutical companies claim that the higher pricing is due to increased research and development costs, but new revelations from the journal of Health Affairs, complicate this concept. Their data suggests that companies may be increasing the prices of drugs that are already available. Over the past 15 years, Americans have witnessed an increase of 9% annually for prescription medicines and an increase of 15% annually for injectable drugs. These numbers are staggering when accounting that inflation increased at a rate of 2% annually.
In this episode, we will discuss how these rising costs are affecting our community and what we can do in an effort to stabilize these outrageous prices.
- Dr. Keith Newby