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The Rise in the Price of Prescription Drugs

The Rise in the Price of Prescription Drugs In the business of drug production over the years, there have been astronomical gains in the technology of pharmaceutical drugs. More and more drugs are being made for diseases and viruses each day, and there are many more drugs still undergoing research and testing. These "miracle" drugs are expensive, however, and many Americans cannot afford these prices. Prescription drug prices rose three times faster than inflation in the decade between 1981 and 1991, making the pharmaceutical industry the nation's most profitable business. Prescription drugs even exceeded the rapidly rising inflation rate for all other medical services. They now represent at least 10% of all the medical costs in the United States.1 Why are the prices so high? Some critics of the drug companies argue that the larger firms are ripping off the American public, are dishonest and, in some cases, unsafe. On the other hand, there are health care workers such as doctors and their supporters who claim that research and testing for drugs costs money. This supposedly justifies their prices for their products. Also, as an argument to their side, they say that their practice is a benefit to the improvement to mankind. It is a life saving business, but are these prices justified? As one can see, this is a very important issue in medicine today. It affects everyone involved with medicine, which is much of the American public. It also affects the physicians and drug makers. Government factors into the equation of the argument. Critics of the drug industry say that there is not enough regulation, while supporters of the pharmaceutical companies argue that there is too much regulation and that that is one... ... middle of paper ... ... near future. They key to this is that people forget about how much money they make and to simply just work for the betterment of mankind. Bibliography: 1Drake, Donald and Marian Uhlman: Making Medicine Making Money; Universal Press, 1993, p 1. 2Silverman, Milton, et al: Bad Medicine; Stanford University Press, 1992, p 209-210. 3Walker, Hugh: Market Power and Price levels in the Ethical Drug Industry; Indiana University Press, 1971, P 25. 4Breckon, William: The Drug Makers; Bowering Press Plymouth, 1972, p 145. 5Statman, Meir: Competition in the Pharmaceutical Industry; American Enterprise, 1983, p 45. 6Northrup, Jonathan: Prescription drug pricing in Independent and Chain Drugstores; UPENN, 1975, p 4. 7Lindsay, Cotton: The Pharmaceutical Industry; Wiley Medical Publication, 1978, p 73. 8Chetley, Andrew: A Healthy Business; Zed Books, 1990.

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