Medication prices continue to be a major concern for many Americans.  Recent months have seen a deluge of stories of drugs with $100,000+ price tags.  A 2015 poll found that a third of patients saw a price increase in their medications last year.  The problem is that these price increases have different causes, making it difficult to solve all the issues. With advances in science we have seen development of new, highly successful drugs sometimes costing as much as $1000 per pill.  These prices are often seen as justified when researchers look at the benefits of a curative versus the potential long-term cost of living with a condition and less effective treatments.  This is frequently called "value pricing." The companies that develop these drugs reap profits for

the medications patent life (typically 7-12 years) until generic medications are able to enter the market at more affordable prices. The question that remains is whether these exceedingly high prices and several years of wait are worth some patients not being able to afford a medication that could cure them. The problems of expensive effective brand-name drugs are exacerbated by “pay-for-delay” deals designed to keep a generic medication off the market, extending the brand-name’s monopoly on the formula.  Brand-name drug-makers have been known to functionally pay off several generic manufacturers to drop patent challenges and stop the development of lower-cost alternatives. A 2013 Supreme Court ruling found that existing antitrust laws apply to these deals and has limited the number of pay-for-delay deals…

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 of their medications. These price-points are based on profit margins and what competitors charge for similar products (similar in number of prescriptions; not necessarily similar in function or diagnoses). Sharing a market with $100,000 cancer treatments leads to new drugs trying to match those prices. Steven Pearson, founder and president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Reviews, a nonprofit that evaluates evidence on medical tests, describes it this way: “It's not a market. It's a drug maker…