tablets and money, generic drug costs, generic drugs

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.

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  1. BMB

    As long as we elect our officials who can and are being bought by the lobbyists- I believe, that we are to be blamed.
    Our “wonderful” representatives buy, sell, trade votes instead of looking out for the interest of the people.
    We the people should clear out the good old boy’s club, should have time limit, age limit and pay limit for all our representatives, including the senate, congress and Supreme Court.

  2. Jim

    Do we really want more government regulation?

    America was built on free enterprise, if you can’t afford the medication don’t buy it. There is no free lunch. We already have socialized Medicare drug plan part D, do we want more socialized government controlled medicine.

    • Marlo

      We don’t have socialized medicine in this country, because our government and healthcare system is owned and run by large corporations. We have Fascism, not Socialism and this is because of an uninformed citizenry that believes propaganda that is put out by the huge corporate owned media industry. We need to learn to think for ourselves in order to have good health and stop relying on the profit driven lies from the Healthcare Industrial Complex.

  3. Bill

    Drug companies are going to get a price for their drugs which gives them what they expect in profit. When foreign governments require negotiated prices that are traditionally quite low the difference will be made up by U.S. citizens. This is the case even though they have indirectly helped to pay for the R&D for these drugs through tax deductions and credits.

    The present system is patently unfair to U.S. consumers and Washington needs to get their arms around the problem. One solution was suggested a number of years ago by a member of Congress that would have capped the cost of drugs at the average paid by the top six industrial nations. That would undoubtedly result in higher prices overseas and lower prices in the U.S. Not surprisingly lobbyists of all stripes got involved and the proposal was defeated.

  4. betty

    We the people are so affected by the extreme prices for even generics now. The mfrs seem only interested in the $$$. I myself need brand names of several meds. But I feel it’s a hopeless situation. I will continue to get them until I cannot. There are no mfrs discounts for Synthroid and Wellbutrin. And nobody seems to be listening to our cries.

  5. cpmt

    When I can, I buy some of my medicines in Europe (diabetic) they are 6 x cheaper there.

  6. Jack
    Garland, Tx

    My doctor wants me to get the Shingles shot. I have Medicare and a Secondary plan. My co-pay for the shot would be $220.00. Wonder how much the shot would cost without these?

  7. Paula

    I had a severe asthma attack which impacted my ability to breathe. The doctor prescribed Advair and the script was sent to my regular online pharmacy. They called me to ask permission to bill me $857 for the 3 month supply. I denied.

    So I began researching alternate ways of getting this, and ended up using a Canadian pharmacy. The 3 month supply cost me $134.

  8. Leo
    Albuquerque, NM

    How much of these pharmaceuticals are creating from government sponsored research?
    And why don’t we use that as a reason to control prices?

  9. Sally Moore
    Alpharetta, Ga

    I paid for the “how to buy drugs from Canada” but have not received it. Still waiting for a response!

    • Patricia
      Waldron Arkansas

      Would like to know if you get the How To Buy Drugs From Canada and if it’s worth having. Prescription Drugs are so expensive.

  10. Brian

    If a roofer or gas station charges double prices after a hurricane, it is illegal. Excessive medical lawsuits have been limited to a degree. Utilities are partially regulated to avoid hardship.
    Yet medications that are more essential than roofs or electricity are sold for profiteering prices just because they have a corner on the market, combined with political pressure and marketing.
    Some agreement on medication pricing is essential to maintain a viable health care system. We should be able to encourage elected officials to bring prices down to 3 times that of European countries.

  11. Sherry
    Waxhaw NC

    My sister just told me an interesting story yesterday. She MUST take the brand name Ativan as her doctor does not want her on the generic. The cost to the insurance company every 3 months is $10,000. Yes, you read correctly, $10,000 for an anti anxiety pill. Her cost? $100.00. She happened to run low on them because of a big mix up from her drugstore so she had to pay for 42 pills out of her own pocket with no reimbursement. 42 pills were $377.00. This is outlandish. Someone is paying for the $9900.00 her insurance company pays for. The rest of America is paying for hers and everyone elses! Criminal.

  12. Sandy K Johnson
    Charlotte, NC

    I don’t like exhorbitant drug prices or the feeling that big pharma is putting it’s hand in my wallet. I do understand their need to fund their drug development costs. I am curious how the UK and Brazillian pharmaceutical companies fund their research. Is the drug development argument used by big pharma as the reason for the high prices valid across all economies or do foreign governments support some of that. Just wondered.

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