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Prescription Drugs

  • Drug Prices Rise as Pharma Profit Soars Modern Healthcare by Alex Kacik — The amount of money people spend on prescription drugs has nearly doubled over the past three decades as pharmaceutical sales and profit margins have ballooned, according to a government report. Retail prescription drug expenses accounted for about 12 percent of total U.S. healthcare spending in 2015, up from about 7 percent through the 1990s. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology sales revenue increased from $534 billion to $775 billion between 2006 and 2015, according to a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. About two-thirds of drug companies saw their profit margins increase over that period, averaging 17.1 percent.  "Drug companies raise prices far exceeding inflation because they can," said Scott Knoer, chief pharmacy officer at Cleveland Clinic. "In the absence of regulation and without consumer awareness—since consumers don't generally see the price due to insurance—the sky is the limit." Ultimately, all of these costs are passed on to the government, insurance companies, patients and taxpayers, he added.


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