The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Prices

Is there something wrong with charging what the market will bear? Admittedly, the market for pharmaceuticals is a distinctively weird one. >>>

How expensive medications are increasingly out of reach

The biggest battle in health care these days — besides the ongoing fight over Obamacare — is over the price of expensive life-saving medications.

Specialty drug spending fueled a 13 percent increase in prescription drug spending last year, the largest annual increase in the past decade, according to a report this week from pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts. These drugs represent just 1 percent of all U.S. prescriptions, yet they made up nearly 32 percent of all drug spending in 2014, up from 28 percent in 2013.

Specialty drugs treat complex conditions from hepatitis C to cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV, with monthly treatments sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars. Even with insurance, patients sometimes dish out thousands of dollars each year….

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