A few jaw-dropping facts quickly illustrate the pattern of rising drug costs. The average annual cost of cancer drugs increased from roughly $10,000 before 2000 to over $100,000 by 2012, according to a recent study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Several breakthrough specialty medications and orphan drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have subsequently entered the pharmaceutical market with hefty price tags. Consider Biogen Idec’s multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, which costs $54,900 per patient per year; hepatitis C cures from Gilead Sciences, with a sticker price of $84,000 per patient; and Orkambi, a cystic fibrosis drug from Vertex Pharmaceuticals approved this month, priced at a whopping $259,000 per year.
generic drug prices have at least managed to raise eyebrows. In 222 generic drug groups, prices increased by 100 percent or more between 2013 and 2014, according to Forbes. As generic drugs have long provided payers some respite from other more expensive products and services, rising prices in generics like Mylan NV’s albuterol sulfate—which increased about 4,000 percent from 2013 to 2014—are well worth the concerns.
And consider this as well.
Pharmaceutical companies and free market proponents were unhappy at the Obama administration’s recent proposal to grant Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices. A Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely to accept such meddling in private markets, and a lobbying firm in Washington called the proposal “dead on arrival.”
Read the rest of the article for more facts and thoughts on amelioration….or just read some of our old posts
Medicynical Note: And why anyone in their right mind would oppose Medicare negotiating drug prices is anybody’s guess—my guess is that campaign support (money) from drug companies (in other circles known as bribes) carry the day.
What’s going on is not sustainable and something has to give. Drug Companies want everyone but them to literally give $$$$. Their business is not health care but rather maximizing revenue. Patient outcomes, access, bankruptcy, sustainability is not their department.
It IS the money stupid!