Drug prices continue to be a major concern for Americans. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll published today, 77% of those surveyed said medication costs were their number one health concern, reflecting recent headline-making increases. Furthermore, 63% support government action to lower prescription drug costs as a top priority. Compared to a study by the same organization from August, the results are largely the same with notably increased support of government intervention.
The United States is the only developed nation that allows drug makers to set their own prices. Throughout Europe, Canada, and Australia, governments negotiate the price of drugs with pharmaceutical companies in the name of public interest. The United Kingdom, for example, negotiates through the National Institute of Clinical Evaluation (NICE). NICE researches and analyzes new drugs, procedures, and devices and tells the manufacturers the price the UK is willing to pay. These practices make life-saving healthcare affordable to all those who need it in their countries.
In the US, pharmaceutical companies set the price