Not only do Americans have to be concerned with rising premiums and higher deductibles, but the increasing cost of prescription drugs is continuing to take a toll on budgets across the country. Within the last three years alone, individuals have had to pay an average of 30 percent more for their prescriptions, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“It’s easy to talk about the cost today, the cost to the plan, the cost to the premium – but we also have to look at the cost to society, when people are losing their jobs and having to shift to government programs for support,” Annalise Dolph, National Multiple Sclerosis Society senior directory of advocacy said in a Lund Report article.
The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, estimates that approximately half of Americans have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month. One in five Americans are estimated to utilize three or more medications monthly.
“People assume that their insurance card is their golden ticket to good prices, but that’s not always true, and we’re not allowed to tell them,” said a central Ohio pharmacist, in a Dispatch.com article.
The recent EpiPen controversy has highlighted the lack of regulation when it comes to prescription costs. The Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act is a piece of legislation that many believe is the first step to holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their pricing.
The act would require manufacturers to provide more details to explain the reasoning behind price increases, include their costs and research to back it up. The need for the U.S. government to get more involved is apparent, even if it is met with pushback and criticism.
“Drug corporations are sticking it to American taxpayers with soaring prescription drug prices,” said Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), one of the bill’s sponsors. “This bipartisan reform will require transparency and accountability for drug corporations who are jacking up costs for families in need of affordable lifesaving treatments.
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