The Cost of Prescription Drugs



In the United States, expenditure on prescription medications is higher than any other country in the world based on the finding of the Journal of American Medical Association. Also, the report claimed that those costs are due to the brand-name driven drug prices that have been increasing in the past few years at the rate beyond the consumer price index. Thus; paying for medicine become the most expensive out of pocket cost for Americans.

What does this mean to the person who has anxiety disorders?

Last 2014, a report of 36 million Americans are taking prescribed anxiolytics. Another article cited that 1 in every 6 adults is taking psychiatric medications to help them go to sleep and lessen their anxiety levels. With this information, it is crucial to present why prescription drugs are costly.

Possible reasons

The parabolic prices of prescription drugs are due to some reasons. For instance, no governing body in the United States regulates the amount explicitly up to the absolute ceiling. The pharmaceutical manufacturers are given the leeway to monitor themselves or take the chance to manipulate the circumstances. They can merely charge high prices because they can. Frequently, the drug companies will justify their prices to the costs of research, development, and marketing of the drug. Also, they would include that profits are often used to develop and perform further analysis on new medications that can help save more lives. To some extent, their justification is right but according to May 2017 AARP cover story, drug companies are one of the most profitable businesses in America and analysis by a research company called Global Data shows that 9 out 10 big players in the pharmaceutical industry expenses are mainly due to marketing than research. Also, it was too revealed that the profit margins of some drug companies in comparison to other blue-chip companies such as Coca-Cola, GE, and GM show that five out of the six top profiting corporations are all pharmaceutical.


Undeniably, the world is indebted to the companies that spend their resources in improving and providing better medicines to the general public to efficiently manage illnesses and save lives as well. More and more drugs are being approved nowadays as compared to a decade ago. It is easier and faster to get drug approval as well, and pharmaceutical companies have identified these loopholes in the regulatory process particularly in the trial phase of the development that can speed up the drug’s release to the market. Interestingly, it is not just new drugs that are priced ridiculously. Drugs that have been available in the market can also have an unjustifiable price increase. Who can forget the outrage over the price for epinephrine pen? Epinephrine pen, a synthetic version of adrenaline has seen price soar of 535 percent from 2007 to 2014.


Final word

The unimaginable escalating cost of health care in the United States is a societal issue that affects each and every American. It is heartbreaking to see individuals who unable to seek the needed medical assistance, unable to purchase their maintenance medications and those who have to sell their properties and possessions just to afford health care expenses. With the uncertain future of health care reform, it is safe to say that the American society is taking a giant step back concerning drug affordability and universal access to care.  

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