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Date: 17/08/2018
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Rx companies raise costs - Because they can

A recent article in Newsweek "Medication keeps getting more expensive - and big pharma won't explain why" shows the continuing problem of prescription pricing. Between 2012 and 2017, prices for the top 20 drugs prescribed to older Americans increased by an average of 12% per year. Seven of the top drugs more than doubled in price, and it's legal. 

New prescriptions entering the market are generally priced higher then their competitors. What's strange is when a new drug hits the market, companies with similar medications reprice their similar approved drugs to match the higher price, even if the drug has been on the market for years. 

The maker of Restasis which cost $167 in 2012 and $321 in 2017 vowed to avoid predatory pricing practices. "We will take price increases no more than one per year," Brent Saunders the CEO of Allergan said. 

Because Medicare is unable to negotiate with drug manufactures over their pricing practices there is little we can do to stop this. Political pressure to change this has been weak (Rx has the largest lobbying in Washington). All politicians rally around lower drug costs but the reality is nothing is happening. 

With all the new high tech, high cost medications about to hit the market it's time our leaders in Washington find a way to bring costs under control before we are all priced out of owning health insurance.