Truths and fiction within the drug market

  • Drugs are more expensive in America than anywhere else.
  • The president’s plan, which he called the “most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs”, lacks potency.
  • The price of drugs is based on what the market will bear.
  • The argument that  nine out of 10 big pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing than on research is flawed as most of this marketing money is directed at the physicians who do the prescribing, rather than consumers and includes everything from medical journals to expenses for sales people.

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There is no evidence of an association between research and development costs and prices of prescription drugs

From JAMA: “Although prices are often justified by the high cost of drug development, there is no evidence of an association between research and development costs and prices ; rather, prescription drugs are priced in the United States primarily on the basis of what the market will bear”. And I guess most pharma executives believe the market can bear a lot more. Continue reading