Big Pharma ‘Ripping Off’ U.S. Consumers, New Study Confirms

A new analysis commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders, shows U.S. consumers and insurers pay two to four times more for prescription drugs than other rich countries.

A new government study commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders shows that the U.S. pays two to four times more for prescription drugs than other rich countries, a finding that came as President Joe Biden rolled out a social safety-net plan on Wednesday that excludes progressive proposals to tackle sky-high medicine costs.

According to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), retail prices that U.S. consumers and insurers paid for 20 brand-name prescription drugs in 2020 were 2.82 times higher than in Canada, 4.25 times higher than in Australia, and 4.36 times higher than in France.

The drugs GAO examined were a sampling of 41 brand-name medicines with the highest expenditures and use in the Medicare Part D program, which under current federal law is prohibited from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies.

One example GAO cites is Xarelto, a blood clot medication that costs more than $558 for 30 tablets in the U.S. but just over $85 in Canada.

“This important GAO study confirms what we all already know: the pharmaceutical industry is ripping off the American people,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement. “The time is long overdue for the United States to do what every major country on earth does: negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies to lower the outrageous price of prescription drugs.”

Read an opposing take here.