KEY TAKEAWAY: 30 percent of Americans who experienced a hike in the price of one or more of their medications in the past year left a prescription unfilled because it was too expensive; 15 percent said they cut pills in half to make them last longer. This problem is not going to go away and pharma has to do more than point fingers.
Listening in this week to some qualitative research it’s becoming crystal clear that people don’t care who is to blame; they just want lower drug prices. Over the last month PhRMA has taken to twitter to try to enhance pharma’s reputation, however the problem is that very few people are buying what they are selling.
The reasons behind the spike in drug prices is complicated, but experts point to basic market economics. “There’s nothing that puts a stop to it,” said Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports. “Companies can charge whatever they want.”
This comes at a time when 44% of people in the United States avoid visiting the doctor’s office when sick or injured because of high costs , and approximately 40% skip necessary medical tests or treatment, according to results from a new national poll that were presented at the American Society on Aging 2018 Aging in America Conference.
“[The United States] spends more than any other country in the world [on health care] and we get less value for this care on critical measures like access, clinical outcomes and even administrative fees and burden,” Zia Agha, MD, chief medical officer and executive VP of West Health Institute, said at the conference. “It truly is a national crisis.”
The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that more than a year into President Trump’s presidency, half of the public (52 percent) say passing legislation to bring down the price of prescription drugs should be a “top priority” for President Trump and Congress. Yet, less than half of the public (39 percent) say they are confident that President Trump and his administration will be able to deliver on the promise that Americans will pay less for prescription drugs than they pay now.
Now either pharma doesn’t care or they are only thinking short term profits. Either way there is a big storm coming for pharma and they don’t seem to care. The CEO’s are making their millions in compensation while patients struggle to pay for medications. This is a national crisis that’s not going away.