News: Skyrocketing Drug Costs

Turing Pharmaceuticals recently raised the price of Daraprim, a standard medication for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection, to $750 a tablet from $13.50 per tablet, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rodelis Therapeutics had raised the price of the tuberculosis drug, Cycloserine, to $10,800 for a supply of 30 pills, up from about $480 that the Purdue Research Foundation had charged. Elsewhere in the world, it sells for about 22 cents per pill. It is considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organization.

The company claimed that they would start a patient assistance program at no cost for the uninsured. However, if you look into any pharmaceutical patient assistance program, there are restrictions in place that would leave out most of the middle-class. Luckily,in this case, the foundation stepped in and re-acquired the rights to this drug.

Both of these are examples of a disturbing trend of pharmaceutical companies acquiring rights to old, off-patent drugs and jacking up the price. What can the average consumer do about this? A national group of more than 140,000 physicians is trying to fight this problem. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both proposing possible solutions to battle rising drug costs. However, any government proposal that benefits the lower to middle-class will likely have to endure a major a political battle in order to get enacted.