This year alone, Americans will spend a whopping $325 billion on prescription drugs. Shockingly, the U.S. has some of the highest drug prices in the world with rates above Canadian drug prices at over 50% higher. The prices in the U.S. can often be seen reaching two to six times more than countries such as Germany or other developed nations. This number skyrockets when looking at more specialized drugs such as the ones for treatment of cancer and certain diabetes drugs.
With the pharmaceutical industry employing a myriad of lobbyists, their intention is to keep prices high. With $58 million spent on supporting campaigns of those in favor of the Big Pharma’s agenda’s, its no wonder why the laws are not changing. This year alone, the big pharmaceutical companies will spend a massive $300 million on congressional lobbying.
There are a few ways though, that the public could potentially influence the price of drugs.
One of those ways is letting Medicare step in and negotiate the drug prices. Since almost 40% of prescription drug-spending in the country is done by Medicare, they are by law forbidden from negotiating the prices of drugs. If medicare is allowed to step in, it is obvious that drug prices would drop down substantially.
Most drug companies attempt to push their own brand name drugs, with prices reaching extreme highs when compared to their generic counterparts. The FDA helps to make sure the crooked system stays in place by forcing generics through rigorous and pointless tests which are of course supported by Big Pharma.
One of the best ways to reduce the price of drugs is to allow imports from countries such as Canada. Canadian drugs are just as if not more safe than American drugs but with the use of the FDA, we cannot get most of them in the country.
Many of the systems in place help to ensure that the big pharmaceutical companies will keep their wrongful place at the top, but with a few ideas and some lobbying, hopefully patients can get the drugs they need at a lower cost.