“What’s being done to bring down high drug costs?”
Published 28 Dec 2017 | swissinfo.ch
by Tony Ganzer and Geraldine Wong Sak Hoi
“…Americans, just as well as Swiss, have been asking why such high prices are the norm. Some US observers think plainly, “because there’s nothing stopping them”.
Prices in the US are determined by the market, or by negotiated deals with insurance companies. The government does not impose price controls, even for Medicare patients. The full-service healthcare system of the Veterans Administration (VA) does negotiate prices, and some states have tried to link state healthcare drug costs to those of the VA, but in both California and Ohio voters have said no, largely because the issue is complicated and unclear.
The US is also prescribing drugs more than other countries, for ailments connected to things like obesity, which preventive medicine initiatives aim to head-off. (We’ll cover preventive medicine in our next article)
What’s clear is people in both Switzerland and the US are talking about how expensive drugs are, but what’s to be done…”