America’s Prescription Drug Plan Graphs Not Available For the past couple of years there has been a bitter battle between Canada and the United States over the importation of prescription drugs. Unfortunately due to amount of uninsured Americans who cannot afford these drugs in the United States, they must travel across the border and buy them in Canada. Currently the United States has made it illegal for anyone but the manufacturer or a selected representative to import prescription drugs into the United States. However the increasing difference in price between prescriptions in Canada and the United States has created an opportunity for Canadian businessmen and women to export these prescription drugs from Canada to the United States.
The United States of America accounts for only 5% of the world’s population, yet as a nation, we devour over 50% of the world’s pharmaceutical medication and around 80% of the world’s prescription narcotics (American Addict). The increasing demand for prescription medication in America has evoked a national health crisis in which the government and big business benefit at the expense of the American public.
The CDC reports show that in 2010, 48 million Americans, many of them seniors, despite large generic drug availability, could not take their prescribed medications due to their high costs (Mukherjee). Costs are expected to rise each year, with no end in sight. Some have proposed a public interest policy allowing Americans to reimport prescription drugs at lower costs from Canada. While this would relieve Americans’ wallets, without direct FDA supervision, this could be dangerous. American drug companies’ resulting decreased budgets could potentially cancel future innovation and R&D projects, ultimately leaving even more people unhealthy.
The first social problem surrounding the health care system in the United States is the growing problem with pharmaceutical companies. The industry averages a 17% profit margin and it has been booming for decades, but the industry is being heavily led by a core group of companies (Dr. Pratt). “In 1992 the top 10 companies accounted for roughly one-third of global pharmaceutical revenue, after a period of consolidation, by 2001 the top 10 accounted for nearly half.”( Leon-Guerrero, Zentgraf, 172). These companies hold a large majority of the market share and make most of their money off patented drugs. This growing core of companies that are dominating the market are causing more problems rather than solving them. These companies are all about making as much money as they can and it shows through the salaries of the executives of these companies (Dr. Pratt). The pharmaceutical industry should have their number one priority be to the users of their products rather than profit gains.
The rise in cost of prescription drugs affects all sectors of the health care industry, including private insurers, public programs, and patients. Spending on prescription drugs continues to be an important health care concern, particularly in light of rising pharmaceutical costs and the aging population. Prescription drugs have grown to become an essential component of health care. For millions of Americans, prescription drugs are necessary to their health and ability to function in society. While prescriptions are a relatively small portion of overall health spending, they are a main reason for certain health spending trends, growing almost twice as fast all other health services in recent years. Prescription costs can be the costliest expense in your budget, especially if you are on a fixed income. The wealthy can easily afford their medications, but for an increasing population such as the elderly, choosing among purchasing medication, paying bills, or buying food is a real concern.
The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other country, with the percentage of gross domestic product dedicated to health care doubling from 9% in 1980 to 18% in 2011(Kesselheim,). One of the contributors to health care inflation is prescription drugs. Pharmaceuticals account for about 10% of total health care costs, spending on pharmaceuticals is poised to swell in upcoming years as a result of the increasing prices of complex specialty medicines (Kesselheim). Name brand drugs are going to have to be set at higher prices, in order for pharmaceutical companies to receive a profit. If the patient has full coverage on a medication, there is a greater chance that medication will be taken, although it may not be
Even with health care coverage being at the tips of our finger, we still are positioned with the question how will I pay for this, as well as where this money comes from. Reports have indicated that the United States has spent “$2.2 trillion for health care in 2007, which was an increase of 6.7% from $2.1 trillion in 2006” (Wexler). This revenue comes to all of our taxable expenses, which in turn trickles down to the Affordable Care Act. Receiving any medical care, is expensive in general, from staffing of the hospitals to creating the medication that someone needs to further their lives. Wexler addresses the increase of medication production. ” One of the fastest-growing components of health care is the market for prescription drugs. In 2006 Americans spent $216.7 billion on prescription medication—this was an 8.5% increase from $199.7 billion in 2005” (Wexler) The increase can be a good way to think of how the money is spent. We fund the projects that in turn create fundamental medications to help those who need
Producers work to formulate and distribute prescription drugs with diverted intentions. The authors GlaxoSmithKline state “…they turn these high prices into research toward new cures for diseases. It’s true, we in the U.S. seem to pick up most of the research tab for the rest of the world”. In this instance we get a tasteful sense that not all the money used for prescribed drugs are just baked into the profits. There stands a prodigious sum being flung into research and that may perhaps be a cause for the extraordinary drug costs. In the editorial, “The True Cost of Health Care”, “There is an estimated 800 billion put into disease research”. There is a gnawing realization that the medicinal companies pay for the research to discover more drug ingredients and cook up additional cures for these
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
There are three issues when it comes to the health care cost rising. The first is the rising cost in prescription drugs. The second area of rising cost is the increased technologies when it comes to the medical industry. The third problem is the aging population. Prescription drugs are the area of the fastest growing health care expense, and it is projected to grow at 20 to 30 percent each year over the next several years. There are many newer, more expensive drugs on the market, and the use of these prescriptions is exploding. In addition, with so much television advertising, many consumers ask their doctors for expensive, brand name drugs when there may actually be a generic drug that works just as well.