A common talking point in US drug pricing discussions is that US residents pay 10 times as much for prescription medicines than people in other nations. While this is true for many drugs, the picture is more complex. Making such an analysis is complicated by the comparator nations, the drugs studied, and whether they are brand name.
According to Michelle Andrews, “Take, for example, the oft-cited 2021 study by Rand that found, based on 2018 figures, drug prices in the U.S. were on average 2.56 times the drug prices in 32 other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. These are mostly high-income, developed nations. For brand-name drugs, the gap was even bigger: Americans paid 3.44 times the prices for those drugs, on average. But the opposite was true for generic drugs, for which Americans paid just 84% of what people in other countries studied paid. One exception: Turkey. U.S. drug prices were nearly eight times those in Turkey overall, and 10.5 times those for brand-name drugs.”
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(Source: MMM Online, May 19th, 2023)