Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs

Are you dealing with the rising cost of prescription drugs? Are there months that you have to choose between paying for medications or buying groceries? This is a common scenario for many Americans over age 50, according to a new report from AARP.

“People are concerned about drug prices; more are being forced to make trade-offs between paying for their drugs and for food or rent.”
— Leigh Purvis, director of health services research for the AARP Public Policy Institute

The rising cost of prescription drugs is a serious problem in the United States. And it has been for several years.

“Confusion, anxiety and anger over the high cost of medicine has been on the rise for more than a decade. But even as the chorus of criticism has grown louder, the price of pharmaceutical products in the U.S. continues to skyrocket.”

Why is this happening in the U.S.?

According to the AARP article: “Other countries drive a much harder bargain with drug companies. In contrast, the U.S. allows drug companies to pretty much set their own prices.”

Unfortunately, for people who suffer with chronic conditions that require a daily medication, such as high blood pressure, the cost of their drug is extremely high. While a 5-day antibiotic is fairly affordable. You may recall last year the outrage expressed by many Americans over the rising cost of the EpiPen, a lifesaving allergy medication. Since 2007, it has experienced a 500 percent price increase, peaking at over $600 for a package of two injectors.

The pharmaceutical industry has several defenses for the rising cost of prescription drugs.

  1. Prescription drugs account for just 10 percent of  the nation’s health care costs; by comparison, 32 percent of costs go to hospital care, according to a 2016 report from Medicare.
  2. Americans have access to the most innovative treatments much earlier than in other countries.
  3. High cost of drug development.

Without doubt the controversy will continue. The AARP recommends that people be informed about drug choices. If you are concerned about the high cost of drugs, let your member of Congress know by calling 844-453-9952 toll free.

Read the full story here.

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