The United States is the first world country with the lowest life expectancy. It is argued that this is due, among other factors, to the fact that their health is private. However, in the United States more is spent on public health than in countries such as Spain. So the problem seems to lie in the high costs of the treatments .
In fact, a new study from RAND Corporation suggests that linking the cost of prescription drugs in the United States with prices paid in other high-income nations could have cut US drug spending by at least half by 2020 .
High prescription drug prices have important implications for the American health care system, increasing overall costs, burdening some patients with high copays, and causing many people to forgo necessary medications.
Brand-name drug prices are higher compared to other high-income countries, most of which regulate drug prices. However, the inconsistent availability of data on US net prices – the prices paid by insurers after rebates and other discounts – complicates international price comparisons for brand name drugs .
The Elijah E. Cummings Act to Lower Drug Costs Now (HR 3) would allow the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare and private insurers, up to a limit of 120 % of prices in six high-income countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom). The bill was first introduced in Congress in 2019.
Such negotiations would initially apply to all insulins and at least 25 brand name drugs.