Price of Prescription Drugs Almost Threefold Higher in the United States

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

U.S. prices for brand-name originator drugs 422 percent higher; price of unbranded generics 67 percent of comparison countries

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 5, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Prescription drug prices are nearly three times higher in the United States than in other countries, according to a report published by the RAND Corporation.

Andrew W. Mulcahy, and colleagues from the RAND Corporation, compared the prices of different categories of drug products, including brand-name originator drugs, unbranded generic drugs, biologics, and nonbiologic drugs. A prior analysis comparing 2018 prices was updated using data through 2022 and including new analyses relating to biosimilars and changes in price comparisons over time.

The researchers found that for 2022, U.S. manufacturer gross prices for drugs were 278 percent higher than those for 33 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development comparison countries combined. The findings varied, with U.S. prices for brand-name originator drugs 422 percent of those in comparison countries, while U.S. unbranded generics, which account for 90 percent of U.S. prescription volume, were 67 percent of prices in comparison countries. Even after adjustment to account for rebates paid by drug companies to U.S. payers and their pharmacy benefit managers, U.S. prices for brand-name drugs remained 308 percent of prices in other countries.

“We find that the gap is widening for name-brand drugs, while U.S. prices for generic drugs are now proportionally lower than our earlier analysis found,” Mulcahy said in a statement.

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