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Pharma Companies Increase Cost of 500 Drugs as COVID-19 Pandemic Rages

What happened: U.S. drug manufacturers increased the price of more than 500 drugs at the start of 2021, according to Reuters. Reuters reported that health care research firm 46brooklyn said its “analysis of Medicaid data shows the average cost per branded drug is still ticking up” despite the fact drug price increases have slowed substantially since 2015. Nearly all drug price increases were less than 10% and the median increase is 4.7%. 46brooklyn also launched a new dashboard to track drug price increases.

The Frontlines: In July 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to lower drug prices.

  • One executive order allows medication to be imported from Canada, where drug costs are lower. Biologic drugs, including insulin, are not included in the “America First Health Plan,” which followed the executive order.
  • President Trump signed an additional executive order this past September outlining that Medicare would refuse to pay more for drugs than the lower prices paid by similar countries.
  • A report published in 2015 found that nearly one in 10 Americans did not take their medication as prescribed due to the cost of their prescriptions.

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A Mighty Voice: Contributor Tammy Freeman, who has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, wrote about how medication is one of many things that can make being chronically ill not cheap. “We’re also spending a lot of money and missing a lot of work in the meantime. It’s hard to be chronically ill, and it’s expensive to be chronically ill.” You can submit your first-person story, too.

From Our Community:

Why are meds so expensive?? #Medication #Depression #Anxiety #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Stress

Other Things to Know: You can read the stories below to see how expensive medication costs affect people with chronic health conditions — and what some people like Nick Jonas are doing about it.

How to Take Action: If you are looking for ways to save money on prescription drug costs, ask your doctor for their advice on ways to do this. You can also try the strategies presented in this article.

Image via Getty Images/Olga Kurbatova