Americans are paying more for medicines than people anywhere else in the world. That’s the conclusion from an analysis commissioned by the news agency Reuters. Investigators at the University of Liverpool compared drug prices in the U.S. to those in Europe, South America and India.
How Much Higher Are US Drug Prices?
Americans pay three times more, on average, than citizens in the U.K. Drug prices here are six times higher than in Brazil and 16 times higher than in India.
Hefty Price Rise for an Old Drug Spotlighted the Problem:
The differential was recently highlighted by the attention garnered by Turing Pharmaceuticals and its 5,000 percent increase in the price of Daraprim, a drug for treating a potentially deadly condition called toxoplasmosis. The cost in the U.S. went from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. According to Reuters, the company that developed the drug (GlaxoSmithKline) charges 66 cents a tablet in the U.K. Presumably they are breaking even at least.
Drug prices in America have soared 127 percent for popular brand name products since 2008. This has not been an era of high inflation for other products. During that same time period, European governments have limited increases in drug prices by arm-wrestling pharmaceutical manufacturers into controlling prices.