The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

U.S. Drug Prices: Why Are They So High?

Episode Summary

Americans pay more money – sometimes much more money – for prescriptions than consumers in many other wealthy countries. Why? The drivers are many and complicated. Pharmaceutical companies, employers, health care providers, patients, lawmakers, and pharmacy benefit managers all play a role. Calls to make prescriptions more affordable have prompted new efforts, including at the federal level. Last May, for example, President Trump introduced a plan intended to help reduce drug prices. This Forum event aimed to demystify the prescription drug pricing process. Experts weighed issues such as regulation, price negotiation and competitive market pressures, ultimately asking why prescription costs matter for public health. Part of The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums, this event was presented jointly with Reuters on September 26, 2018.

Episode Notes

Americans pay more money – sometimes much more money – for prescriptions than consumers in many other wealthy countries. Why? The drivers are many and complicated. Pharmaceutical companies, employers, health care providers, patients, lawmakers, and pharmacy benefit managers all play a role. Calls to make prescriptions more affordable have prompted new efforts, including at the federal level. Last May, for example, President Trump introduced a plan intended to help reduce drug prices. This Forum event aimed to demystify the prescription drug pricing process. Experts weighed issues such as regulation, price negotiation and competitive market pressures, ultimately asking why prescription costs matter for public health.

Part of The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums, this event was
presented jointly with Reuters on September 26, 2018.