Could Price Caps Really Help?

Published October 6th, 2015 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

Could Price Caps Really Help?Several states, including Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, are currently considering laws that would apply price caps to the cost of medication. Currently, prices are set entirely at the whim of the pharmaceutical company that sells them, and as such they tend to charge as much money as they can. The new laws, however, would set limits on how much a new drug can cost.


Growing Costs

Today’s prescription drug spending takes up around 10 percent of overall health care spending. That’s about on par with where it’s been over the last 50 years, but it’s important to remember that this means that it’s been keeping up with the rapidly expanding cost of health care in general.

Partly this is simply the cost of advancing medical technology – we all pay for the research that goes into every drug and treatment system, at least to some extent. However, there may be other factors contributing to the rise of health care costs in America, and by keeping pace with the rest of the industry, prescription drug costs are clearly affected by this.


Varied Reasons

For example, it’s standard practice for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to haggle with health insurance providers in order to provide discounts to the people covered by the provider’s plans. It is such standard practice, in fact, that these companies rarely expect anyone to pay the full list price, and so this value is inflated to give both providers and patients the sense that they’ve achieved a remarkable discount when they’re really paying most or all of the expected price.

One of the usual defenses which drug companies provide is the high cost of developing new drugs. However, the big companies spend very little on their own R and D. Instead, they acquire small biotech firms once they’ve produced a proven new drug. While this is paying for research after a fashion, Sovaldi, the hepatitis C drug that became infamous for its $84,000 price tag, earned back its acquisition price within the first year of sales. Medical research is indeed a significant expense for those who live on the bleeding edge, but medical costs don’t seem to be keeping in step.

Still, whether or not the pharmaceutical companies can beat the price cap bills, there are other ways in which you can save money on your prescriptions. The USA Rx pharmacy discount card is one method which anyone can use to get discounts on both generic and brand-name medications. All we need to get you set up is your name and an email address – we aren’t an insurance company and so we don’t need your personal or medical information. Simply print out a copy of the card, take it to your local pharmacy, and start saving. For more information, you can contact us online at [email protected] or on the phone at 888-277-3911.

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