Over the years, America’s spending on drugs has constantly increased by a margin of 13.1% since 2014. Additionally, the spending on specialty medicines such as those used in special handling and monitoring has equally increased by $54 billion in the last five years, therefore, resenting to an increase in the prices of different drugs (Martin 154). Hello, my name is Ken Robinson and today I am going to tell you on the factors that have enhanced the increase in the cost of drugs in the American community and how it has affected the provision of quality care in the USA health sector.
Considerably, many manufacturers over the last five years have been increasing the prices of some of the essential drugs such as those used in special care. Although most of these institutions have tried justifying the cause of their actions seems to have no valid reason for these events (Los Angeles Times n.p). Moreover, such occurrences have equally resulted in the overall increase in health insurance premiums for patients and also rise in the expenses of different federal health programs including Medicare and Medicaid (Targeted News Service n.p). The skyrocketing prices have also led to increased demand from the consumers who advocate for more reforms and the enactment of more policies that would cap the pricing limit for different drugs. The heated debate on this subject has also affected the performance of some of the manufacturing companies such as Gilead that have recorded a decrease in their stalk prices and subsequent fall in the demand for their products.
Drug management campaigns have over the last five years increased in the United States as different bodies including the Congress have started developing techniques that will enable their control of the pricing of drugs. Considerably, the use of biosimilars has been promoted by the government as it helps in saving the overall cost of medication to consumers. Additionally, the authorities have also implemented different mechanisms that closely monitor the actions of firms in drug manufacturing industry. For instance, Pfizer was fined in 2012 for overpricing some of their products and exploiting customers (MENA Report n.p).
In the long run, the continued increase in the prices of drugs could restrict the level of health coverage offered by insurance companies. According to Rashid payers could sometimes be more aggressive than they had previously been and only offer expensive covers for chronic complications such as liver fibrosis (129). Additionally, patients will have to pay part of their treatment on their own as they will only get part of the coverage from the covering institutions.
Many manufacturers have over the last year tried to justify the cause of their actions by providing various reasons for the constant skyrocketing prices. Considerably, some of the drug makers argued that the constant rise is due to the level of spending on the production of these commodities (Grant n.p). Moreover, others have stated that the modern drugs have different advantages including extending lives and even curing some of the complications that were previously thought to be incurable.
Seemingly, other manufacturers have sited the increase in their spending on the production of the drugs that account for 16% of their total expenses. In essence, drug manufacturing process entails different steps ranging from research to the development of the final product (Burns n.p). Notably, other firms have elaborated that there exist no justifiable reasons for increasing the prices of drugs that do not add value to the customers. However, different experts have stated that the amount spent by these companies in research and development of the various medications, does not correlate with the pricing methods they use and that the total capital spends in this procedure is usually overrated.
Similarly, another reason that promotes the increase in the price of drugs is the lack of transparency and accountability in the drug manufacturing industry. This factor not only promotes manipulation of the financial statements but also provides these firms with an avenue to extort their customers (Senior 501). As such, different laws have been enacted to enable the country to protect the rights of consumers and also to ensure that producers are closely monitored to promote ethical practices in business.
The solution to limiting the growth of this trend largely rests on the ability of the government to control the activities of the drug manufacturing companies. Some of the methods that can be used include enactment of different legislative policies, setting disciplinary measures and increasing the level of competition in the market so as to reduce the monopoly power of the existing institutions (Targeted News Service n.p).
Moreover, the government can also implement measures that will ensure that firms in the drug manufacturing industry promote aspects of transparency and accountability not only in research and development but also in the pricing methods of their commodities. Seemingly, the authorities can also engage in drug price negotiations with the producing companies to enable the establishment of fair rates that are favorable to both the customers and the producing entities.
The overpricing of drugs by the manufactures is one of the emerging unethical practices in the modern United States market. It is sad for companies developed to help in providing solutions to the society to engage in activities that aim at hampering the progress of the community on both personal and economic levels.
Burns, Joseph. “What Can Be Done About Soaring Drug Costs?.” MEDICAL ECONOMICS (2016): n.p
Grant, Charley. “Big Pharma’s Price Problem; Stakes Of Drug-Price Battles Are Getting Higher.” (2015): n.p
Los Angeles Times. “A Clearer Picture Of Drug Costs.” (2016): n. pag. Print.
Martin, Anne B., et al. “National health spending in 2014: faster growth driven by coverage expansion and prescription drug spending.” Health Affairs 35.1 (2015): 150-160.
MENA Report. “United Kingdom : CMA Fines Pfizer And Flynn 90 Million For Drug Price Hike To NHS.” (2016): n.p
Rashid, Talal. “The EpiPen Problem: Analyzing Unethical Drug Price Increases and the Need for Greater Government Regulation.” University of Miami Business Law Review 26.1 (2017): 129.
Senior, Melanie. “Sovaldi makes blockbuster history, ignites drug pricing unrest.” (2014): 501.
Targeted News Service. “California’s New Drug Price Law Is A Win For Consumers Nationwide.” (2017): n.p
Targeted News Service. “Sen. Durbin Demands Answers From Novum Pharma On Skyrocketing Drug Prices.” (2016): n.p