Soaring prescription drug costs have been in the news lately. The only effective cure for Hepatitis C, Sovaldi, is priced at $1,000 per pill. Last year, Medicare spent $4.5 million and Medicaid spent $1.3 billion on Sovaldi alone. The VA is limiting treatment of veterans with Hepatitis C because it would cost $13 billion to provide the medicine our bets need.
Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the makers of this pill asking them to justify its incredible price tag because he understands that exploding prescription drug costs fuel the skyrocketing cost of healthcare and that it raises the taxes and insurance premiums of every American – not just those on specialty drugs.
These companies spend exponentially more on advertising than they do on new drug development.
Even common, widely used generic medications have seen incredible spikes when manufacturers corner the market. Last year, the distributor cost of the generic antibiotic doxycycline jumped from $70 to $2,300 in a single month.
We should stand with Sen. Grassley and demand justification for these costs. And, with more presidential candidates coming to town every day, we should ask each one of them specifically how they plan to address this problem that affects us all.
Nate McKeen, Cedar Falls