Feeling hammered by out-of-control drug prices? If your doctor prescribed a drug on which your life depended, how much would you pay?
We have the highest prices for prescription drugs in the modern world. On average, Americans spend $1,026 per year; the rest of the modern world averages $515. The average Dane spends $240 per year.
It’s not just pharmaceuticals; abdominal CAT scans average $896 here, and just $97 in Canada. Getting your appendix removed in the USA averages $13,910; in Arentina, it’s $1,723. The list goes on and on. That’s why 750,000 Americans travel abroad for the kinds of care we like to think are best in the USA – cardiac surgery, orthopedic surgery, oncology, and even dentistry, to name a few. They’re going to Thailand, Mexico, India, Singapore, Costa Rica, and many other places that may surprise you. It turns out it’s often less expensive to fly first class, get your surgery, and recover in 5-star hotels for several weeks than it is to pay our outrageous prices.
1,354,311 Americans are now funding their surgery, chemotherapy, and other medical expenses through a GoFundMe campaign.
This is not the way healthcare should be performing in the wealthiest country in the world.
I had a small pro bono consulting role in creating a new documentary about the outrageous prices of our prescription drugs, why it’s like this here, and what we can do about it. The documentary was produced by Richard Master, CEO of MCS Industries, a mid-sized American company. Last year his company spent over half million dollars on prescription drugs for his employees. Sometimes the annual cost of one drug can be more than double the salary of a single employee.
Master pulled together a team of documentary filmmakers and researchers to go beyond the headlines and connect the dots. His team interviewed top experts and doctors to find answers to key questions.
How much do pharma companies really spend on research and development of truly innovative drugs? Do “free market” principles impact drug prices and control cost? Do the normal rules of business apply to the pharma industry? How do TV ads impact consumers and doctors? He wanted answers to essential questions. Ultimately, he wanted a solution that made business sense for his company and health sense for his employees.
Big Pharma: Market Failure is a new documentary that looks at the facts and makes an effective business case for realizable change. It is a compelling drama that reveals the truth of pharma cost and what we can do about it. We will be screening it for free on Wednesday May 24, at 2:00 and 6:30 PM at the central St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive St., in St. Louis. Register for free at the events calendar on library’s website, SLPL.com.