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December 16th, 2009
Why Drugstore Prices are so High in America

Pharmaceutical companies are quick to tell American consumers that drug prices are steep because of the huge costs for the research and development of new drugs that will dramatically improve public health and lengthen lives. They also state that without these high prices that consumers pay, better drugs will not be able to be developed, meaning people will stay unhealthy.

University experts also believe that the price of drugs comes from the shielding of insured consumers from the true prices of drugs, patent laws, and the intricate structure of the pharmaceutical industry.

For example, if a consumer were to buy Advair at a Walgreen’s, the price would be around $151.59 for a month’s supply. From an online Canadian pharmacy, Advair prices range from $114-134.00 for a two month supply.

American prices became really high beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, because companies were pricing their medication based on the country’s median income. Drug prices in Canada are running at around 50-60% of the U.S. figure, while Europe is about 40-50%.

The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not regulate drug prices. In 2002, the ten major American Drug companies had a 17% which can be compared to a 3.1% for all other Fortune 500 industries. The drugs that are the most popular on the market are usually developed at government or university labs.

With a new senate bill being debated, concerning the legalization of the personal drug importation by Americans, the prices of American prescription drugs will be forced to change in order to compete.


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