You're Viewing the Archives
Return to IVN's Frontpage

Drug Prices and Health Care Costs - 6 Things You Should Know

by Steven Moore, published

Feel like health care costs are too high? Think drug prices are out of control? You are not alone.

According to Kaiser, 80% of Americans feel the same way. Unfortunately, there is very little information about how drug and health care prices actually work.

As with most of what we encounter in today’s world, things aren’t always as they seem. And in the world of partisan politics, our health care debate most often gets reduced to simple talking points that serve to inflame fear or anger rather than substantive discussion.

That's why IVN’s Medicated USA column has done a deep dive into drug prices and health care costs ... so you can be better informed.

We tried to step away from the partisan headlines and simplified talking points to explore 6 areas of drug pricing that might just change the way you consider the way you look at drug pricing policy. Check it out...

WATCH: 6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Drug Pricing

MYTH #1: Drug Prices are the Primary Cause of Rising Health Care Costs

Many think that rising drug prices are the primary driver of rising health care costs. But the sources of the rising costs of healthcare costs are not as apparent as the price you pay at the pharmacy. The cost of medication is only one part of a $3.3 trillion dollar pie.


MYTH #2: Profits from Drug Sales go Directly to Big Pharmaceutical Companies

Big Pharma isn’t the only player in the convoluted shell game of drug pricing. In the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex, there are a number of players involved.

Recently we had to ask... Did President Trump turn his gaze to drug pricing - and possibly watch our video?

READ MORE: The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex: Where do Drug Sale Profits Really Go?

MYTH #3: Your Pharmacist is Required to Look Out for Your Best Interests

When you walk into your pharmacy, you expect that your pharmacist is going to be on your side.

But have you ever heard of a "gag clause"? About 60% of pharmacists have them, and it might be costing you a lot of money.

READ MORE: Rep says Pharmacy Gag Order 'Outrageous'

Myth #4:  Big Pharma is Responsible for the High Prices you Pay at the Pharmacy

While folks can find plenty of fault with pharmaceutical manufacturers, they don’t actually set retail prices for their product. Just three huge corporations set 80% of retail drug prices. Meet the PBMs.

READ MORE: Don’t Like Big Pharma? Meet the PBMs…

MYTH #5: The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex will Always Keep Drug Prices High

With so many players in the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex, there are a lot of ways drug pricing can be changed. While drug prices are rising now, an Executive Order from Trump or a new law from Congress could change that very quickly.

Innovation can also make everything we think we know about drug pricing obsolete.

READ MORE: CEO Could Change Everything About Drug Pricing

MYTH #6:  Increases in Health Care Costs only Benefit Corporations

It may seem that increases in healthcare cost only benefit greedy corporations. however, America is a very compassionate place. 50% of healthcare spending actually goes to treat the sickest 5% of our population.

READ MORE: Half of America's Healthcare Spending Goes to Sickest 5%

This article is part of a series brought to you by Medicated USA, an IVN News column focused on health-care and health-related policy issues.

About the Author