PBS Next Avenue

18 October 2016

Deborah Quilter

Recent headlines have decried exorbitant drug costs. No one is surprised by drugs that exceed $100,000 dollars a year or whose prices have grown at six times the rate of inflation.

But the biggest surprise at the Oct. 13 debate hosted by Intelligence Squared (Blame Big Pharma for Out-of-Control Health Care Costs) wasn’t that drug prices in the United States are higher than any other developed country. Nor was it that Americans actually pay twice for these products, both at the pharmacy counter and through our tax dollars to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research.

No, the biggest surprise was that presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have not only talked about this issue, but agree that prices need to be reined in. At times, both sides of the debate found themselves in agreement.

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