Americans would save a boatload if we paid the same prices as other wealthy countries pay for prescription drugs, a new analysis from the House Ways and Means Committee confirms.
Why it matters: This is why the industry is so staunchly opposed to both President Trump's and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plans to piggyback off of other countries' lower prices.
Where it stands: Most countries included in the analysis have average drug prices that are between 24% and 30% of U.S. prices. Government regulations keep drug prices lower in these countries.
- Those U.S. prices don't take into account rebates and discounts, which bring down the price most insured patients actually pay.
- The average rebate in Medicare Part D is about 22%, according to a 2015 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Those rebates would have to be significantly bigger to match other countries' prices.
The other side: "International comparisons link list prices in the United States — that almost nobody pays — to these artificially low prices set by governments in other countries," PhRMA spokesperson Holly Campbell said.
- "In every country where the government sets medicine prices, patients face significant restrictions in accessing new medicines and long treatment delays," she added.
Yes, but: Many patients with high deductibles or no insurance at all pay the list price for their prescriptions, leading to unfilled prescriptions and other medication adherence issues.