Why Are Prescription Medications So Expensive?

prescription capsules spread over currency

Studies show that Americans use more prescription medications than citizens of any other country. When considering the total number of prescriptions in America, the average adult takes four different medications. But what really differentiates the American medical system from that of other nations is its high costs. In fact, the average American consumer spends more than $1,300 each year on prescription medications.

While recent hikes in medication prices have slowed, costs are still rising at a rate over 5% each year. Private insurers and government programs pick up some share of the bill, but high drug costs are ultimately passed on to members of the public through premiums and taxes.

Why Do My Medications Cost So Much?
Although the US Congress is weighing a proposal aimed at lowering prices, prescription medications costs are still incredibly high in the United States. The policy would require the Medicare health program to negotiate the prices of certain big-ticket medicines with the manufacturers that produce them. However, medication manufacturers have fiercely opposed the policy. High prices and increased consumer demand has led many insurers to restrict coverage to the sickest patients. A probe by a Congressional committee concluded at the end of 2021 that drug companies had raised prices with abandon, using anticompetitive strategies and manipulating the patent system and marketing exclusives granted by regulators to do so.

Why Are Medication Prices So High in General?
Although this Congressional probe shows some progress, it is still unlikely that the United States government will be able to rectify high medication prices in the near future. Unlike other nations, the US doesn’t directly regulate medicine prices. In many European countries, governments negotiate directly with drugmakers to limit what their state-funded health systems pay. The UK’s National Health Service has refused to pay for some cancer drugs widely used in the US on the grounds that they don’t constitute value for money.

In the US, drug companies can more or less set whatever price the market will bear. For most outpatient drugs reimbursed through Medicaid, the public health program for the poor, drugmakers must provide rebates to the government. However, most medicine costs are paid for by Medicare or by private insurers. In the US, patients directly pay about 13% of prescription medicine costs out of their own pockets. In one survey, one in five adults in the US said they failed to complete a prescribed course of medicine because of cost. The figure was one in 10 in Germany, Canada, and Australia.

With these statistics in mind, many patients in the US would see benefit from working with a private health care provider or health assurance provider to improve their coverage and reduce medication costs. Here at Revive, we’re taking affordable medications to the next level. Start a ReviveHealth membership today and you’ll receive access to more than 425 generic medications for no additional cost. You can also find out if your current prescriptions are covered under your membership when you are inside our portal.

Affordable Medications For All
Pharmaceutical companies argue that they need robust profits to further improve medical advances. They claim that restricting prices would harm innovation. Critics point out that drugmakers could reduce spending on marketing and still make significant profit.
Prescription medications can be offered at affordable prices that create revenue for distributors while remaining affordable for consumers. ReviveHealth is working towards this goal of making medications more accessible for everyone. By joining ReviveHealth today, you can cut your medication costs by more than 80% and save yourself hundreds on your prescriptions each year.

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