Suggested Reasons for Price of Prescription Drugs in America

May 31, 2021 Mark

Press Release ( - VICTORIA, British Columbia - May 31, 2021 - Somewhere within 3% of the United State’s GDP – more than $10,000 for each person, on average – is spent paying end user costs for prescription medication each year. High prescription medication costs are a harsh reality for the average American, and these days relief from paying high costs for life-saving medication is needed more than ever. The July 2020 White House Executive Order was supposed to initiate a solution for more affordable drug options for Americans. But many medications are now no longer covered under Medicare Part D, so Americans are looking beyond the border at international pharmacies like Canada Drugs Direct to pay less when having their prescriptions filled.

Big pharma always insists there are legitimate reasons why Rx medications are so expensive, but many of them aren’t legitimized. The most common reason big pharma gives an explanation as to why medication prices are high is because R&D and manufacturing are expensive on the production end. Although this holds to be true, profits generated from selling prescription medication cover for those costs and produce tidy profits.

What disproves big pharma’s reasoning is the fact that both Canadians and Mexicans have much lower prices on prescription medication, and they have modernized healthcare systems just like America does. America’s healthcare system is funded by taxpayer money, which makes the funding for it even better given the population size. What really drives the high medication costs in America is that the pharmaceutical industry has always had the protection of monopoly pricing. In every other country in the world, there are regulations that limit the prices big pharma companies can place on prescription medication.

In America, companies have patents on their pharmaceuticals, and while the patents are still in place, the prescription medications can be valued at whatever price point they think is best. Once a patent expires, a generic version of the medication may become available at a slightly lower cost. But the lower cost is still more than the price others pay for that same medication elsewhere in the world. This is the main reason why the USA pays around 50% of what the entire world spends on prescription medication in a year.

Giving lower-income Americans access to international pharmacy medication and pricing can be part of the solution to help individuals and families get the medication they need. But there still needs to be action at the level of the government as well. Some suggested solutions have been to follow up on what was proposed in the Government’s 2019 Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce OOP Costs: improved competition, better negotiation, and incentives to lower list costs.

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