U.S. drug spending was at once relatively in line with spending in other countries, but between 1997 and 2007, according to a study in Health Affairs, prices tripled.
According to an Incidental Economist report, prices in 2015 hit about $1,000 per person in the U.S., accounting for some 16.7 percent of overall health spending.
While there are a number of factors that could be at play, according to the report, the number of prescription drugs used in the U.S. is likely not a major contributor. Citing studies, the report states “Americans do not take a lot more drugs than patients in other countries.”
The price of brand-name drugs, however, are a problem.
“Though Americans take a lower proportion of brand-name drugs, the prices of those drugs are a lot higher than in other countries,” the report states. “For many drugs, U.S. prices are twice those found in Canada, for example.”
To read the full report on the Incidental Economist, click here.