Because nothing is stopping them, drug companies are charging so much for our well needed prescription drugs. Why do drug prices keep rising despite customer complaints? Senior citizens need a lot of prescription drugs and for many the drugs cost as much as their fixed income. How do they cope with the high prices? Confusion, anxiety and anger over the high cost of medicine has been on the rise for more than a decade. New approved drugs are on the market at a hefty price. Sick people usually don’t have a lot of income. Many are too ill to even work much. So where will the money to pay for these things come from?
The cost of Bavencio, a new cancer drug approved in March, is about $156,000 a year per patient. A new muscular dystrophy drug came on the market late last year for an eye-popping price of $300,000 annually. In 2016 the FDA approved Tecentriq, a new bladder cancer treatment that costs $12,500 a month, or $150,000 a year. Even older drugs that have been on the market for a long time have seen a large increase in prices. The cost of insulin tripled between 2002 and 2013, despite no changes in the formulation or manufacturing process. The four –decade-old EpiPen, a lifesaving allergy medication, has seen a price hike of 500 percent since 2007. Public outrage this past winter over its price tag ($609 for a package of two injectors) helped to speed up the arrival of lower-cost generic variations to the market. During the election Trump called the drug prices “outrageous” and promised to do something about the high costs. He doesn’t mention it at all any more since he has become President.
In the United States drug companies are pretty much allowed to set their own prices. In other countries there are restrictions. In America drug companies raise the prices on our most popular needed drugs to control and manage conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. The price of an opioid drug rose quickly as the popularity for the drug increased. Evzio was $690 in 2014 and jumped to $4,000 now. Their profits are going through the roof. The drug companies get away with this behavior by manipulating the patents to keep control of their drugs and monopolize on the prices. They create slight variations on their old patent to keep the new patent and further ownership of the drug.
Another problem is that one of the largest purchasers of prescription drugs, Medicare is blocked by law from negotiating prices. Why? How about Trump do something we can ALL benefit from? CHANGE THAT LAW. Throw the lobbyists out and make them stop bribing Congress with campaign donations. The VHA Veterans Health Administration does have the ability to negotiate drug prices and as a result they pay 80% less for brand name drugs than Medicare Part D pays. They should change the laws to at least make it legal to let us buy our prescriptions in Canada or Europe where the prescription drug makers are not so greedy. What’s even worse is the fact that our good old jerk Mr. President in his new American Health Care Act wants to add an age tax on older Americans and increase their insurance rates. I need some prescription drugs now!