Few dispute the notion that prices for pharmaceutical drugs in the U.S. are too high – especially when compared to those of other nations. An op-ed piece in today’s New York Times looks at that issue and finds several reasons.
Among the factors cited by the report, which is based in part on an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, insurance companies’ coverage of drugs regardless of price or whether they are much better than existing, less costly drugs. Also cited: some pharmaceutical companies buying up the rights to cheap generic drugs so they can then jack up prices.
The high cost of pharmaceuticals – Amgen’s new leukemia drug Blincyto is expected to cost $64,000 a month – clearly needs attention if health care costs are to be prevented from soaking up more of the nation’s wealth, crowding out other essential spending.
The op-ed piece was written by Dr. Peter Boch, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
– Len Maniace