Why are Prescription Medicines So Expensive in the United States? Why is Medicine Cost So Much?

In this video I cover why prescription medicines usually cost four times as much for Americans compared to the rest of the world. Just what makes prescriptions so expensive in the United States. It has gotten to the point where many Americans cannot afford their prescriptions. The US medical and pharmaceutical system is severely broken and hard working Americans ultimately pay the price, Literally!!!

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fun fact
i already did this video once but i
recorded it when it was recording my
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but let’s talk about why prescription
medicines are so expensive in the united
states
and at the end of this video you’re
going to be like this is mind-boggling
this makes no sense
this is un-american and it should be
stopped
but nothing’s going to change so let’s
jump in
americans spend about twelve hundred
dollars a year on average on
prescription medicines
which is four times more than the
average across the world
so right off the bat we’re paying four
times more for the same
exact prescription medicines that are
created in our country
think about that for a minute let that
sink in one in four americans
report having trouble paying for all
their prescriptions
that’s 25 of our country roughly 75
million people
have a hard time paying for their
prescriptions
so if you’re in a room with four people
one person in that room is having a hard
time affording the medicines
that are created in their country a
survey done in 2016
found that 14 percent of americans with
insurance had trouble paying for their
prescriptions
or didn’t fill certain scripts or only
took
you know half the dosage to make them
last longer 14
with insurance imagine if you’re
uninsured imagine what that number jumps
to
i couldn’t find it but i’m going to
assume it’s a lot higher than 14
that’s insane the fact that 14 of this
country
pays for medical insurance and has a
hard time affording their medicines
you’re probably saying to yourself these
pharmaceutical companies they’ve got
lots of overhead you know they have to
hire people
to create these medicines then they have
to pay for
the studies you know phase one phase two
they have to get it approved by the fda
they have to go through all this
rigmarole
you know it’s expensive and it is
expensive but would it
annoy you a little bit if only 17
of pharmaceutical companies overhead is
from research and development so let’s
just say 20
let’s round up so one-fifth of their
overall cost in a year
is for research and development you want
to know what the second one is
marketing so they did this little thing
where they figured out
how much all the different
pharmaceutical companies in the united
states spend on research and development
and it’s a staggering number it’s 80
billion dollars
so all the companies in the united
states spent 80 billion dollars a year
on research and development
that’s a lot of money huge right so
they’ve got to make their money i get it
you know they’re a company they’re not
doing this for charity
but then they looked at the top 20
prescription medicines that are sold in
the united states
and during the same year they calculated
how much profit or how much
these companies took in from just the
top 20 prescription medicines
that number was 120 billion so yeah they
spent 80 billion
on research and development and they
pulled in 120 for a nice cool profit of
40 billion dollars now that’s just the
top 20 medicines that’s the top 20.
they still make money on the 1 top 100
top 200 top 300 and so forth so
now you can see why a pharmaceutical
company is so profitable
this is a fun one this one’s going to
piss you off
but out of the top 10 pharmaceutical
companies in the united states
there’s only one that spends more on
research and development
than marketing that means that 90
of the top pharmaceutical companies
spend more on marketing
than they do on research and development
hmm
makes sense right but they’ve got this
hefty r d cost that’s why they have to
raise the prices
no a lot of it’s marketing here’s a fun
one the united states and new zealand
are the only two countries in the world
where pharmaceutical companies
can directly market prescription
medicines to the general public
so that means if you’re in any other
country but those two
you don’t see pharmaceutical ads so what
you do
is when you go to the doctor you say doc
i’ve got this issue
they run a blood test or whatever they
do and they figure out the issue
and the doc sits back and says okay i
think this medicine would be the best
medicine for you
now here in the united states of new
zealand we see ads for pharmaceutical
companies all the time
so we’re sitting home and we’re like
well okay here’s an ad
oh i may have a okay all right let me
check it out
and you go to your doctor and you say
hey i saw this astrazeneca ad
i think it would work for me can you
prescribe it for me and the doc says
well
okay yeah it’s it’s pretty close to what
may be good okay here’s a script
i mean is that crazy that not only do we
pay four times more for prescription
medicines than any other countries
but we’re one of two that allow the
pharmaceutical companies to advertise
directly to us
pretty crazy huh here’s where the united
states and other countries like canada
australia great britain differ in how
they deal with pharmaceutical companies
so in australia canada when a new drug
is released the farmer school company
comes to
the country it’s whatever regulatory
body they have that deals with it
and they say hey we have this new
medicine uh this is what our reporting
shows these are what the studies show
and the regulators will look and say
okay well
it’s you know is it better than the
stuff that’s already on the market
is it cost effective for how much more
effective it is
uh this and that and they basically
negotiate the price
and in the united states we do not so
the drug companies just get to
you know they can market something
that’s one percent better
and charge four times as much and
there’s no regulatory body to tell them
not to
so another thing about the united states
is that
health care providers and insurance
companies are the ones negotiating
with pharmaceutical companies so you can
see why the prices vary so much
so the united states just has a super
fragmented system
to where in other countries the
government is buying all of the stuff
so they’re a buying it in bulk which is
getting them a bigger discount
and a they negotiate i mean who would
have thought that negotiating with
someone that you’re buying in bulk from
could get you better prices it’s crazy
right
but we’ll see we’ll keep going just
follow the money
just follow the money that’s uh that’s
how you figure stuff out in life
another reason that there’s other
countries that actually negotiate with
the pharmaceutical companies
the reason they do it is because they
see medicine as something that their
population needs
and they need to have their population
be able to afford their
these medicines so that their population
is healthy
so you know they don’t regulate you know
consumer goods
but they want to regulate medicine and
prices so that their
customer customers so that their
population doesn’t get ripped off
and are put in the situation the same as
25
of americans are having a hard time
paying for their medicines
and when you have to choose between
medicine and food or medicine and your
lights or medicine and your water
you know maybe you can get by another
month or so without your medicine that’s
sad
it’s pretty wild though and we’ll just
keep following the money
there is actually one government agency
in the united states that actually does
negotiate for prices
and it’s the veterans health
administration or the va
so they are actually the only ones in
the united states that actually
negotiate
prices of drugs for the 55 000 55
million people that they cover
and guess what they pay about 40 less
than you and me
well than our insurance companies but
because they actually negotiated and
they’re buying in bulk
they uh they get better pricing i mean
shocker it
baffles your mind it boggles your mind
now we’ll jump over to medicare which
covers a whole lot of people in the
united states
there’s actually a federal law that
states that medicare
cannot negotiate the prices of drugs a
federal law that prohibits medicare
for federal government from negotiating
prices on drugs
hmm who would that benefit the american
taxpayer
or the pharmaceutical company pretty
wild huh
the other thing about medicare is as
long as a medicine
is deemed safe by the fda
they are required to offer it to their
patients if a drug comes out that’s
one percent better and four times more
expensive than what’s already on the
market
medicare has to at least offer it to
their patients
so if you’re sitting over at pfizer or
merck or bear and you’re like
this is like a honey hole i mean
literally we can just come out with a
new medicine
that’s slightly better maybe and
we can mark up the price and medicare
has to cover it
and then we’ll put ads on tv so that
people see it
and people with that condition say oh
well this is the new stuff so i want to
get that
they tell their doctor i want to get
that medicine and then the government
pays four times more which in turn
trickles down to us
paying more this making sense to anyone
else
or does this just make sense if you’re
in the government
or a pharmaceutical company so good rx
you’ve probably seen the ads for goodrx
hi linda
looks like you’ve got a prescription to
film any idea how much that’s gonna cost
in there
i’m really not sure well you’re probably
gonna pay two or three times more than
you should in there
you download good rx it’s free and you
type in whatever prescription you get
and it
gives you a discount basically or a
lower price than what you normally pay
and for me every prescription medicine
that i take
it costs less with goodrx than it does
with my insurance
now how does that work how does a free
app get me better pricing on
prescription medicine
than a service that i pay like 500 bucks
a month for
how does that even make sense well to
understand this
there’s lots of different layers of how
medicines get to your pharmacy
shocker they don’t just buy them
directly from the pharmaceutical company
that’d be too easy so there’s different
layers so you’ve got the pharmaceutical
company
that deals with distributors and then
there’s a funny layer that we’ll get to
and then their actual pharmacy now this
funny little layer
is basically different organizations
that offer
prescription medicines or insurance to
people
so someone like aarp they have a huge
following they have lots of people that
they offer
certain deals to so because aarp is so
big
they can negotiate huge price drops
so let’s say a medicine is 50
normally at the pharmacy with good rx or
aarp
you can get it for 30 that’s because
aarp
has negotiated this price down from the
distributors and for the pharmacy
and guess what there’s still even a
little profit there that goes to goodrx
and aarp
i’m pretty sure that aarp or goodrx goes
through aarps
whatever it’s called and that’s how they
get such good pricing
but it’s amazing to me that you know
good rx can get better prices than
insurance company
pretty wild huh pretty wild that the
exact same medicine coming from the
exact same distributor
can cost two different prices depending
on the little code they use
through your insurance or goodrx or aarp
but that’s what makes sense right it
totally makes sense
i mean why would the same medicine in
the same country in the same pharmacy
cost two different prices depending on
what little middleman
code they typed in that went through
makes no sense
the american health system is jacked
it’s
corrupt it’s basically like strong armed
robbery basically but with medicines
for profit so i’ve got two more little
things to cover
so in this article i read it was really
interesting that they were
basically saying that americans are
subsidizing
research and development for new
medicines for the rest of the world
so we’ve got an american company an
american company
that is charging the americans four
times more for medicines
for research and development for
medicines that they’re gonna go take
and sell over in canada in europe in
australia
for twenty five percent of the cost so
basically americans are being charged a
high price from american companies
in order to fund research and
development and profit
so that new medicines can be created and
shared with the world at a quarter of
the price
think about that for a minute just think
about that
companies that were able to thrive
because they were in the united states
because of our people because our
education system because of our
infrastructure
all that good stuff are charging their
own countrymen and women
three four times as much for medicines
so they can sell them to other countries
for 25 percent
now it’s fantastic they’re coming out
with new medicines but it’s really
[ _ ] up that americans people who can’t pay for their prescriptions because they’re funding research and development to sell new medicines to other countries think about that you’re probably good and mad right now and you’re thinking like this is crazy how are these american companies anyway how are they able to do this why does the united states not negotiate drug prices why well i saw something where the pharmaceutical company spends on average about five hundred thousand dollars in lobbying per senator i’m not sure exactly how many there are but it’s a lot of money so pharmaceutical companies they have deep pockets they throw money at politicians you know they’ve got lobbyists the guys you know help craft these bills and you know look at hcg for instance hcg was packaged up in a bill that was designed to make insulin cheaper what did it actually do well it made it so compounding pharmacies can’t make it so as soon as they run out supposedly it’s gone and what’s the other option pharmaceutical pregnano so compounding pharmacies can’t make it for relatively cheaper so now patients that still want hcg have to get it from pharmaceutical companies pharmaceutical grade the exact same [ _ ] that costs
you know cost more so
you know follow the money you’ve got
pharmaceutical companies lobbying at the
government
government doesn’t negotiate prices and
the prices are crazy high
which we’re in turn funding research and
development
to come out with new drugs that they can
make a huge profit on in the united
states
and then make less of a profit in other
countries in the rest of the world
so let that sink in a little bit
pretty wild pretty wild that drugs that
are
created in our country are more
expensive for our people
than people in other countries
that’s where we live in you know one
thing i’ve learned
in life is if [ __ ] doesn’t make sense
start breaking it down to how the money
flows
and then it starts to make sense that’s
about it guys hope i didn’t get you too
fired up but that’s the reality of the
situation i hope it makes sense that
basically
americans are getting screwed but if you
like this video click on the like button
if you’re new click on the subscribe
button if this video does
well and you guys want to see more i’ll
do another one on the insurance company
and how that works and break that all
down and get you all fired up again
but as always you’re awesome and get
your levels tested
and get the good rx app

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