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Business & Regulation Trends & Forecasts

Inside the World’s Most Expensive Pharmaceutical Market

The sky-rocketing prices of drugs in the US have been highlighted to a global audience in recent months; the price hikes of much-needed drugs, such as insulin and Humira, have become the subject of much debate. With a single vial of Humalog, a branded version of insulin, costing $274 in 2017 (1), many Americans are priced out of access.

“While high prices are of no benefit to the average citizen, they are even worse for the 12 percent of adults who fall into the category of being uninsured or underinsured. These patients pay based on the list price of the drug, and not on the “true,” post-rebate prices. As the gap widens between list and post-rebate prices, these patients pay disproportionately more,” says Nathan Wineinger, Director of Biostatistics and Assistant Professor at Scripps Research.

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  1. NE Wineinger, Y Zhang , EJ Topol. “Trends in Prices of Popular Brand-Name Prescription Drugs in the United States.” JAMA Netw Open. (2019).
  2. IQVIA, “Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2017 and Outlook to 2022.” Available at: bit.ly/2ISnzIS. Last accessed: June 28, 2019.
  3. Health Affairs Blog, “R&D Costs For Pharmaceutical Companies Do Not Explain Elevated US Drug Prices.” Available at:https://bit.ly/2XfNQtq. Last accessed: June 28, 2019.

About the Author

Maryam Mahdi

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After finishing my degree, I envisioned a career in science communications. However, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up teaching abroad. Though the experience was amazing and I learned a great deal from it, I jumped at the opportunity to work for Texere. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me!

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