Monthly Archives: July 2018

Should the government regulate prescription prices: it works where it’s tried

The last two blog posts provided background for a discussion of whether the U.S. government should negotiate or regulate prescription drug prices and discussed why the market might not do such a good job of setting prices for prescription drugs.  This post looks at prices in programs that regulate them.

Comparison of U.S. Prices to Those of Other Countries

The United States is unique among high income nations in that it does not regulate prescription drug prices.  Most other high income nations have some mechanism in place to do so.  A 2010 study compared brand-name drug prices in the U.S. with those in other high income nations.  The results, shown below, indicated that prescription drug prices are higher in the U.S. than in any of the comparison countries.  The difference ranged from U.S. prices being twice those in the U.K. to U.S. prices being about 15% higher than those in Switzerland.  The comparison nations represented a range of types of negotiation and financing of prescription drugs.  Continue reading