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The Rigged System

Prescription drug prices have spiraled out of control, with drug corporations manipulating the system to wield monopoly pricing power. They invest billions in securing laws and regulations that serve their interests over the interests of patients.

One in four U.S. residents reports skipping their prescriptions due to the cost, as Americans pay on average between three to eight times more for their drugs than people in other high-income nations. At the heart of Big Pharma’s pricing dominance was a rule that prevented Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, allowing drug manufacturers to dictate and set prices. Thankfully, in addition to several other historic provisions lowering drug prices for people on Medicare, the Inflation Reduction Act ended the 20-year prohibition on Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices. And now, negotiations of the first 10 drugs are underway – which will save patients hundreds of dollars per medication and taxpayers billions. 

But the pharmaceutical industry is fighting back. Threatened by the loss of its monopolistic pricing power, the industry has invested millions in lawsuits attempting to overturn the new program. Learn more about their cases and our US v. Pharma campaign to defend Medicare negotiation in the courts. 

In addition to its ability to set prices, drug companies exploit the patent system to delay competition from more affordable generic alternatives. This rigged system perpetuates disparities, with marginalized communities like Latinos and Black Americans facing greater barriers to accessing vital medications due to high costs. Comprehensive reforms are desperately needed to promote competition, increase transparency, and ensure drug pricing benefits patients over industry profits. Learn more about how Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW is working to address all these challenges.