Pharmaceutical prices in the United States are extraordinarily high and have contributed to an unsustainable level of spending on drugs.
The U.S. spends more on pharmaceuticals than any other developed nation in the world: $1,010 per capita, representing 12 percent of total health spending. Spending on specialty drugs—which accounts for a disproportionate share of the total—is high and expected to grow, from $87 billion in 2012 to $400 billion by 2020. Unlike many countries, the United States does not have broad policies or regulations to negotiate or control pharmaceutical prices, which many believe has led to skyrocketing prices.
The Institute for Health Policy provided a white paper comparing pharmaceutical pricing in the U.S. to the U.K., Australia, and Germany for the May 15 Partnership for Quality Care, “Sustainable Drug Pricing Forum.”