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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Econ Focus
Medicine Markup: Americans pay a lot for prescription drugs. Does that mean we pay too much?
Jessica Sackett Romero
Abstract

Diabetics rationing their insulin because they can't afford the full dose. Senior citizens choosing between filling their prescriptions and buying groceries. Parents hoping an expired EpiPen will still work if their child has an allergic reaction.

Stories about Americans unable to pay the high cost of prescription drugs are not new. But in recent years, drug prices have drawn increased attention from policymakers on both sides of the aisle, prompted by the advent of expensive new treatments for Hepatitis C, cancer, and other illnesses, as well as steep price increases for existing treatments such as EpiPens and insulin. Prices look especially high when compared to those in many other developed countries, particularly in Europe.


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Jessica Sackett Romero, "Medicine Markup: Americans pay a lot for prescription drugs. Does that mean we pay too much?" , Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Econ Focus, issue 4Q, pages 10-14, 2017.
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Keywords: prescription drugs; price regulation; costs
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