May 11 2018
01:21 pm

Americans didn't always spend the most. In the 1980s, several countries spent equally, but US spending grew faster in the 1990s, according to a 2017 analysis from the Commonwealth Fund. This was partially because several expensive specialty drugs came to market, and because drug companies that set the price in the United States, unlike in Europe, which has price controls.

Americans often pay substantially more for the same drug than people in other countries do.

1. Actimmune: $52,321.80 for one month...

The 5 most expensive drugs in the United States

jbr's picture

This drug went from $40 to $39,000

Since Mallinckrodt purchased the drug from Questcor in 2014, the price of Acthar has gone from $32,000 a vial to nearly $39,000. In 2000, before Questcor purchased it, it was $40. Questcor shocked the medical community when, on August 27, 2007, it raised the price overnight from $1,600 to $23,000 a vial.

Medicare spent $2 billion for one drug as the manufacturer paid doctors millions

Anatomy of a 97,000% drug price hike

jbr's picture

Big pharma's cash flood is drowning seniors

A new report from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, confirms a deep-seated fear for many seniors: the prices of the 20 brand-name drugs that are most prescribed to them have skyrocketed. Over the past five years, the cost of these medications has risen an average of 12% per year, with some doubling in price.

Big Pharma is jacking up prices for one reason -- because it can. This is why the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare advocates that Medicare be required (or at least allowed) to negotiate prescription drug prices with Big Pharma -- an idea Republicans have by and large opposed since the Medicare Part D program was enacted in 2003. In fact, the original Medicare Part D legislation forbade the government from negotiating drug prices with manufacturers.

Big pharma's cash flood is drowning seniors

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