Our Broken System: Modifying the U.S. Pharmaceutical Regulatory Scheme to Decrease Surging Prescription Drug Prices

Source: International Business Times

By Dan Gutt

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The pharmaceutical industry’s societal purpose is to improve the health of the citizenry. However, the industry is beginning to fail that purpose by producing expensive prescription drugs, which are becoming inaccessible to the average person. Pharmaceutical prices began to spike in 2014, and there is no evidence that this trend will abate in the future. The causes of this phenomenon stem from several factors: expensive patented drugs, a reduction in the supply of generic drugs, and the pharmaceutical industries large marketing and sales expenditures. In summation, this is a complex problem that cannot be solved by a single solution, nor can it be solved by cost covering measures. Instead, innovative solutions that target the root causes of spiking pharmaceutical prices need to be applied. Examples of these solutions include governmental bulk-buying power, longer patent terms, referencing pricing for patented drugs, and improved FDA approval times for generic drugs. If these solutions are implemented, the pharmaceutical industry will continue to deliver low-cost and life-altering pharmaceuticals to their customers. In essence, the pharmaceutical industry will continue to improve the health of the common man.

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