By Max Friedman
Skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs have garnered a great deal of attention lately. Turing Pharmaceuticals notably raised the price of Daraprim, a 62-year old drug which treats life-threatening parasitic infections, from $13.50 a pill to $750 overnight, sparking a national debate about market forces in drug prices.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on these rising costs, as part of a broader investigation. Committee chairwoman Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and ranking member Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) joined together to shed light on this issue.
Here are some interesting resources about rising drug costs:
- You can watch testimony from the committee’s hearing and read expert testimony.
- Check out this rundown of the hearing from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
- Wonkblog also covered how one drug was priced at $84 thousand for a 12-week course of treatment.
- Specialty drugs now cost more than the median household income in the U.S.
- The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing from the National Coalition on Health Care explains how high drug costs harm all patients and consumers.
- Some states are taking the lead in forcing pharmaceutical companies to be transparent. A Massachusetts bill would require drug manufacturers to publish costs for research, production and marketing, and possibly set a cap on drug prices.
Rising prescription drug prices continue to be a growing problem for many people across the country, and we can expect more investigations from Congress and others in the next few months.