Ever since 2009 prices are growing for dermatologic drugs especially although other drugs have become more expensive as well. This has raised concern even among politicians, who have been lately discussing the matter and have concluded that something must be done.
The numbers that are raising concern
A survey conducted by a team of researchers at the universities of Miami and Pennsylvania in Costco, Sam’s Club, Walgreens and CVS pharmacy locations in West Palm Beach in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015 determined the average prices of the 72 most used drugs.
According to the survey, prices for dermatologic drugs increased 401 percent from 2009 to 2015. The greatest increase was registered in the antineoplastic sector. Some of the reasons why the prices are increasing are the frequency of prescribed medication that outpaced inflation, the increases in physician services reimbursement and the overall health expenditure growth at national level.
When a dermatologic product such as Cara cream, a treatment for precancerous growths at skin level, goes from $159 to $2,865 in six years, it becomes quite obvious that a consumer will no longer be able to buy the product. Even if they take it with prescription, insurance companies don’t cover the whole costs of such treatments.
What is the cause of this major price increase?
According to one of the lead researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, this price increase is affecting the entire pharmaceutical industry and it could even lead to the bankruptcy of our financial system. But the U.S. government cannot control or negotiate the drug prices. Also, scientists say that these major increases are not connected in any way with inflation and are not influenced by the price of ingredients. What causes them is the fact that the producing companies simply change their prices as they see fit regardless of the economy or the consumer.
One of the reasons of the increased prices could be the fact that some companies managed to monopolize the market. For example Valeant Pharmaceutical, a company from Canada, owns most of the products that were listed with very high prices. It seems that they usually buy the rights for certain drugs and after that they immediately raise the prices.
Although the government is making inquiries about this company’s products and they’re prices, it seems that Valeant Pharmaceutical is reluctant to reply.
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