At the beginning of the new year, pharmaceutical companies increased the prices for hundreds of different medications. Prices were reportedly raised for at least 250 drugs or more, and further increases this year are expected to follow.
The issue of high drug costs is one that many are concerned with and it has prompted the government to move into action.
They've been juggling with the idea of pushing forward with new drug pricing reform which seems to have broad government support on the issue. In 2019, new legislation had been introduced to try and bring a solution to the problem by seeking to use government power to forcibly lower drug prices.
Despite the threat of a crackdown on prices and the ongoing effort of resolving the issue between government and pharma CEOs etc, things don't look any closer to providing a solution for everyday people who say that they go without purchasing their medication because they cannot afford it.
Overall, it's reported that some 400 drugs have already had at least a 5 percent increase within the first few days of the new year.
At the rate that these medications have been increased it exceeds inflation which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is around 2.1 percent. Not only does the continually deteriorating purchasing power of fiat currency today make it more difficult to purchase medication, but it impedes the ability of millions to purchase every other item or service that they might need as well.
If there were more competition within the market, and certain actors weren't allowed to establish monopolies, then that would improve the price issue and broaden access to the market.
Studies have demonstrated that decreased comeptition can prompt prices to rise dramatically.
pic3 GoodRX via CBS