46 a) Prescription Drugs (Why do we subsidize the rest of the world?)
Most of us are aware that Branded RX has a much higher cost than the generic equivalent. The company for the branded item is allowed exclusive rights to the product for many years to allow them to recover the cost of the research. What most people do not realize is that this recovery cost is almost exclusively borne by the US Consumer despite the fact that the drug is being sold all over the world.
Source for the following: http://www.drugwatch.com/2014/10/15/americans-pay-higherprices-prescription-drugs/
Americans Pay More for Prescription Drugs than Any Other Country
Cancer drugs aren’t the only costly prescription drugs, and even drugs prescribed for less serious ailments can break the average American’s bank, even with health insurance.
For instance, according to a 2013 report released by the International Federation of Health Plans, Nexium – the “purple pill” commonly prescribed for acid reflux – cost more than $200 for U.S. patients in 2013 and only $60 in Switzerland, the next-most-expensive price in the world for the same drug. In the Netherlands, it cost $23.
A generic version of Nexium became available in 2015, but AstraZeneca filed a restraining order against one company blocking it from selling the drug in the U.S., according The Wall Street Journal.
Specialty drugs for chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis carry inflated prices. Prescriptions of Copaxone and Gilenya cost about $4,000 and $5,500, respectively, nearly three times more than the most-expensive price in other countries.
Americans pay more for their drugs than residents of any other country in the world. There are several reasons why, but two of the biggest myths promoted by Big Pharma involve the industry’s cost of research and development (R&D).
Stay tuned next week for more on this.