When your medication costs more than your mortgage

Prescription drug prices are out of control: The average annual cost for one specialty medication to treat a chronic condition is now more than what most families earn in a year. Big Pharma could solve the problem by committing to more rational and sustainable pricing models.

Instead, for the last year, Big Pharma has chosen to point the finger at everyone else, and their decision to engage in a blame game is a tacit admission that drug prices are, in fact, too high. Since this is the road they’ve chosen to go down, let’s lay out some facts about the root causes of outrageous drug prices.

It is a fact that pharmaceutical companies develop life-saving medications and breakthrough cures. New therapies and technologies treat and cure disease every day. That’s why hospitals use, and health plans cover, these breakthroughs — because they save lives and help patients.

It is also a fact that pharmaceutical companies control the price of drugs. They alone set the launch and list price of those life-saving medications and breakthrough cures.

Consumers rightly ask, “Why is the cost of my health insurance going up?” Rising drug prices are a big reason why.

Here’s another fact: Nobody aside from pharmaceutical companies benefit from out-of-control drug prices, and that is why hospitals and insurance companies work hard on behalf of patients and consumers to negotiate lower prices. But when a pharmaceutical company’s starting price for a necessary treatment is $100,000, negotiations can only do so much good.

Patients see the result of those outrageous…