Prescription Drugs Cost A Lot. So Now What?
The state of medical science today is nothing short of amazing. Every month we hear a new announcement for an experimental drug or vaccine that promises to cure the incurable or to return a sense of normalcy to those who suffer from mental disorders. Breakthroughs occur one after another, and life expectancy in the United States has never been higher. In part it’s because we know more now about nutrition and how our bodies work than ever before, but it’s also because our knowledge of medicine and the treatment of diseases is expanding at a breakneck pace.
Unfortunately, all that experimentation has its costs. The hepatitis C cure unveiled in 2014 came with a price tag of $84,000 for just 12 weeks of treatment – for that same price you could buy a dozen cars or else a small house outside of town, and you normally wouldn’t consider a price tag that big without first consulting with your bank about mortgage payment plans. By all projections, however, new drugs are set to cost even more as time goes on.
So what can anyone do about this problem? Curing diseases is all well and good, but there’s no point if no one can afford the treatment. Experts from across the nation have come forward with various solutions to the problem of high drug costs:
- Price control. In Japan, the government acts as a collective bargainer for patients and sets specific prices for every test, procedure, and drug. The US or state governments could solve the problem of high drug prices by intervening, but it’s possible the funds for further research would dry up under this system.
- Transparency. Negotiations over drug prices are kept confidential, supposedly because insurance companies can secure better rates this way, but we may be able to get a better sense of costs if we could see what drug companies are really willing to accept as fair.
- Speed up the FDA approval rate. Right now the FDA is sitting on a massive backlog of drugs waiting for approval to enter the open market, many of which could compete with existing drugs and possibly drive down prices. Of course, if the approval process becomes too rapid, we may also end up seeing potentially crippling or deadly drugs get a wide release.
- Government subsidies. If price control is too drastic, US and state government could still make a difference by subsidizing research or the drugs themselves. Obviously, this will cost the government a pretty penny, and so they usually limit their intervention to the most important of cases.
Sadly, no matter which method governments and pharmaceutical companies use to bring drug prices down in the future, none of it is going to help anyone who needs prescription medication today. Luckily, however, USA Rx can help. By signing up for a free USA Rx pharmacy discount card, you can save anywhere from 10 to 75 percent off of virtually every medication, both generic and brand name, and our card is accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. The card comes pre-activated, so you can print one out right away and use it immediately. If you’d like to ask us for more information, you can call us at 888-277-3911 or email us at [email protected].