Patients Struggle With High Drug Prices
Out-of-pocket costs for pricey new drugs leave even some insured and relatively affluent patients with hard choices on how to afford them.
The pharmaceutical industry has begun to produce more innovative treatments for serious diseases that can extend life and often have fewer side effects than older treatments.
The catch is their cost. Jacqueline Racener’s doctor prescribed a new leukemia drug that promised to roll back the cancer in her blood. She then found it would cost her nearly $8,000 for a full year, even after Medicare paid for most of the treatment. New treatments for hepatitis C, cancer, and multiple sclerosis cost from $50,000 annually to well over $100,000. These drugs helped drive up total U.S. prescription-drug spending 12.2% in 2014.
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