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New report highlights urgency for action to lower US drug costs

Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, in response to the new study from RAND on high prescription drug costs in the US

Each day that goes by, it becomes clearer that urgent action is needed to lower the price of prescription drugs. Americans pay too much for prescription medicines whether out-of-pocket at the pharmacy, through high health insurance premiums, or through taxes to help pay for Medicare as well as an array of tax breaks for the prescription drug industry. 

The high cost of prescription drugs, which help make Big Pharma executives some of the wealthiest in the world, hit lower income families and Black and Brown communities the hardest. Especially as the corporations continue to hike prices during a pandemic that has disproportionately taken jobs and income from low-wage earners, women and people of color.  Despite a flurry of promises, the Trump Administration wasted four years without taking meaningful steps to stop prescription drug price gouging. Instead, they rewarded the industry with massive new tax breaks on profits and no strings attached funding for development of COVID vaccines and treatments. It’s now up to President Biden and the new Congress to end drug corporations’ monopoly control to set and keep prices on drugs high, once and for all.” 


Findings from the report:

  • Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are more than 256% higher than other 32 other countries, with the gap driven by brand-name drugs.
  • Drug spending in the U.S. jumped by 76% between 2000 and 2017, and the costs are expected to only increase over the next decade. 
  • Prescription drug spending in the U.S. accounts for more than 10% of all health care spending
  • Prices for brand name drugs in the U.S. averaged 3.44 times higher than the prices in other nations. Some of the highest brands treat life-threatening illnesses, hepatitis C or cancers.

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