Why the prescription drug market doesn't work for patients
Laura Williams and Dan Sanchez of FEE.org · Aug 23, 2019
What does it take to get vital medical care in America? For Laura Matson, a Type 1 diabetic, it took upending her whole life. To pay for her insulin treatments, she had to sell her car and furniture, relocate, and even give away her dog Nicky, as the BBC reported. And she is not alone. Many Americans struggle to make ends meet as their health care costs rise.
These rising costs are strange, in a sense. The prices of other consumer goods—nutritious food, digital devices, clothing, etc.—generally fall as technology advances and production becomes more efficient. Why is health care such an exception to this rule?
After all, most of the medications Americans take are made of relatively simple ingredients. And once treatments are established, drugs cost very little to produce. Insulin itself is a century-old technology. So why are Ms. Matson’s insulin treatments so expensive?