How new drugs helping millions of Americans live longer are also making them go broke

Rother of NCHC and others say the public needs more transparency into the opaque system of how drug companies price their products – whether prices are based on clinical studies, the value of the drug, or merely what drug makers think the market can bear.

Another major issue is that private insurance companies don’t have the clout to negotiate down these high drug prices, and the government has refused to play that role, says Rother.

Rother says Medicare is large enough to force drug makers to lower their prices, but the government once again decided not to negotiate for lower drug prices while crafting Obamacare – a decision Rother calls “the price of pharma’s acquiescence in the Affordable Care Act politically.” The U.S. is the only wealthy country that does not negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices.

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