Why Pharmaceuticals Are Cheaper Abroad
The United States spends some of the lowest amounts of its total healthcare on prescription drugs relative to other developed nations. But Americans also pay some of the highest prices for those drugs, relative to the rest of the world.
According to the International Federation of Health Plans, Americans pay anywhere from two to six times more than the rest of the world for brand name prescription drugs.
Specialty and cancer drugs tend to be the most expensive, but the sky-high prices can be found in commonly used meds as well. In other countries, the health system is simpler, there aren’t as many organizations trying to buy drugs, so those groups can exert greater purchasing power and that can lower costs. Pharmaceuticals say the high price reflects the high cost of development, but Dr. Bach says they charge these prices simply "because they can."
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