About two and a half times the French prices. That's what you should expect to pay for your medications here. But it is sometimes more and above all, you are never safe from a bad surprise: the cost of a treatment that explodes overnight, a drug in a monopoly situation that would cost a small fortune and do not talk about so-called "innovative" treatments in the fields of cancer for example, which are worth thousands of dollars per month.

Some examples: the indicative price of the antidiabetic Januvia is close to $ 380 for 30 capsules against 40 euros in France. Count around $ 35 for nine tablets of generic antibiotic amoxicillin / clavulanate against 5.5 euros in France. Finally, treatment with Sovaldi, the only one to cure hepatitis C will cost you $ 84,000 vs. 41,000 euros in the hexagon. In addition, prices are totally opaque, varying from one pharmacy to another and depending on the location. Why are drugs so expensive in the United States? That's the silly question of the week.

Although drugs are often exchanged at a more reasonable price because of discounts granted to some public insurance programs like Medicaid or negotiations with intermediaries who work for certain insurances, the excessive costs in the United States can be explained by the total absence of price controls.

The laboratories freely set their rates, without constraint, without regulation, without justification. The latter therefore follow the law of the market and fluctuate according to supply and demand. And the latter is doing pretty well since in 2014, drug prices have increased by an average of 14%, double that of all other health posts (consultations, hospital, etc.).

" The prices are not based on research investments, production costs, or even product efficiency, but on what patients and insurance companies will be willing to pay to have it in a logic of maximum profitability "says Meredith Rosenthal, professor of health economics at Harvard.

This bias, Americans are beginning to feel it. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that 72% of them judge unreasonable drug prices. A quarter of them are struggling to afford treatment and this rate rises to 43% for those who are very sick due to back-up that can amount to several thousand dollars per month. In other words, for some it is to repay one's mortgage or to heal In the words of Hillary Clinton, who, like other presidential candidates, has taken up this popular topic for her campaign.

Nothing should change so much in the years to come. Republicans are not moved by the situation that protects one of the most dynamic and successful sectors for the country's economy and Democrats have already announced their intention not to regulate prices, remaining committed to the market economy . At most, Medicare could finally negotiate the tariffs with the laboratories, which is forbidden to him today … And then " do not forget that all health posts are very expensive in the United States, consultations, paramedical interventions, hospitalizations, so a drug can be allowed to be expensive if it saves care and ultimately generates a financial economy for the patient and the insurer Says Steven Pearson, President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). Seen like that …


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