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Anger grows over drug-cost surge


Attendees at the American Hospital Association’s  recent annual meeting asked whether the pharmaceutical industry can be shamed into controlling the astronomical costs of some of its brand-name drugs — or whether the federal  and state governments may soon feel compelled to come in  with what are in effect price controls.

The public is becoming increasingly and frustrated by the gigantic and arbitrary drug-price surges, which threaten to destroy efforts to bring overall U.S. healthcare costs — far and away the world’s highest — under long-term control.

As the AHA’s site notes “Critics say most of the price increases appear to be arbitrary and some have happened virtually overnight, even for medications that have been available for some time. They’re demanding more transparency from the drug industry.”

A New York Times editorial speculated that disclosures on investment and profit “might shame [drug] companies into restraining their price increases and provide state officials with information to determine what action to take.”

Governing magazine noted:

“In state’s fight for price transparency, drugmakers are winning.”

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