Americans, tired of high-priced drugs, are fighting back

May 10, 2018

IF ONE concern unites Americans, it is the high prices of prescription drugs. One incident in particular tarnished much of the pharma industry: in 2015 the price of an antiparasitic drug, Daraprim, jumped from $13.50 to $750 per pill. But large price increases remain stubbornly commonplace (see chart). According to IQVIA, a health-data firm, the wholesale prices of leading drugs such as Humira, Enbrel and Lyrica increased by more than 120% between 2012 and 2017. Other data show that cancer-drug prices rose from about $10,000 to over $100,000 per year in just over a decade to 2012. Further ahead, a new generation of cures, such as a gene therapy for haemophilia, may cost more than $1m.

President Donald Trump, never one to avoid stoking a grievance, has waded in, accusing the pharma industry of “getting away with murder”. This week, as The Economist went to press, he was scheduled to deliver a speech outlining a strategy to lower prescription-drug prices. Whatever he says, though,...Continue reading


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