Why Are Prescription Drugs So Expensive?

  • Published on Jan 11, 2016
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    Americans are paying outrageously high prices for prescription drugs compared to the rest of the world. So what determines the price of drugs?
    Learn More:
    Martin Shkreli raised his drug's price 5,500 percent because, in America, he can
    "Daraprim is a small, white tablet that looks a lot like aspirin. "
    To Reduce the Cost of Drugs, Look to Europe
    "When anyone proposes reducing prescription drug prices - as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders recently have - the most commonly heard criticism is that it would squelch innovation."
    FDA: Frequently Asked Questions on Patents and Exclusivity
    "Patents and exclusivity work in a similar fashion but are distinctly different from one another."
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Comments • 897

  • jake black
    jake black 17 days ago

    This video still doesn't explain if prescription drugs are actually that expensive. Spending 2.6 billion to develop a drug, having most drugs fail, and then only having 20 years to recoup the original investment and make a profit would require high drug prices in order to incentivize investment. Then foreign governments are price fixing requiring the US market to subsidize the development costs. So the question is:
    Are drug makers gouging patients or are they charging the required amount to incentivize innovation and investment? (A question I have yet to hear answered)

  • Santiago Nigro
    Santiago Nigro 5 months ago

    Where is the state regulating companies profits instead of increasing them at the cost of diseased?

    • Santiago Nigro
      Santiago Nigro 5 months ago

      I've heard that for every 19 dollars pharmaceuticals spend on advertising their medications, only 1 dollar is spent in research and development.

  • darren spohn
    darren spohn 6 months ago

    The expensive simply because they are made by for profit companies.

  • Gunnar Power
    Gunnar Power 8 months ago

    The real problem is the exclusivity that the 20+ year patents

  • Picturetaker
    Picturetaker 8 months ago


  • rudy 3000
    rudy 3000 8 months ago

    Yup..you messed up America..

  • Luis Gabriel Caetano Diniz

    That neck tho

  • Thorstein Fougner
    Thorstein Fougner 9 months ago

    You must be living in a third-world country if you don't have free healthcare and education.

  • Wyatt Nemm
    Wyatt Nemm 9 months ago

    The USA subsidizes the rest of the world's prescriptions, so yeah, enjoy the free shit everyone. and as always #StayTriggered

  • gymkhanadog
    gymkhanadog 9 months ago

    Don't need a 4 minute video to explain it. Perscription drugs are so expensive because big pharma aren't philanthropists. They want to make money hand over fist, and this is an easy if not time consuming way to do it.

  • Lemonz1989
    Lemonz1989 9 months ago

    I use brand name insulin in Denmark made by Novo Nordisk (a Danish company), and I pay $38 a vial (without a subsidy), which lasts me about two weeks. The same drug in the US can cost up to four times that amount, but is usually double that price. It's crazy! I can't live without it, and I think it's pretty expensive for a student as is.

  • gmc9753
    gmc9753 9 months ago

    What percentage of TV commercials are for lawyers looking for clients that have taken this drug or that drug and may have been harmed?
    "You may be entitled to a large cash settlement."

  • beth98362 R
    beth98362 R 9 months ago

    The FDA does little or nothing to control drug costs!

  • Yolisod
    Yolisod 9 months ago

    46 Pharmaceutical executives or directors disliked

  • Coco Ceellä
    Coco Ceellä 9 months ago

    fucking jews.

  • Divergent Evolution
    Divergent Evolution 9 months ago

    Allowing profit from healthcare is not only immoral, it is proof of government corruption.

  • Steve Strickland
    Steve Strickland 9 months ago

    no one seems to mention the FDA rules and laws which is the major cost in putting new drugs on the market

  • Bluesky
    Bluesky 9 months ago

    One acid reducing drug came off patent, and the company making it paid a generic manufacturer not too make it.

  • adayinforever
    adayinforever 9 months ago

    2:52 The other 28 percent are either millionaires, own pharmaceutical stocks, work for big pharma, lobby for big pharma, or are members of congress.

  • Nicholas McNamara

    if your a dual citizen living in the united states get your drugs from home i have a friend who gets his doctor in Australia to prescribe what the yank doctor writes on a piece of paper his mother mails them to him with a copy of the prescription he saves big on meds

  • Christian zember
    Christian zember Year ago

    Here's a quick econ lesson on high drug prices:
    First off I want to note that the US spends more per capita than any country in the world on healthcare (from the taxpayer pool). So under-taxation, and underfunding from government is not the issue.
    Secondly, private healthcare expenditures in America are FAR higher than any other country.
    So why are drugs so expensive?
    Pharmaceutical companies are businesses, and they set their prices, not set on greed, but on demand. The level of demand in the market, driven by willingness to pay, sets the prices for drugs. Companies cannot just set a super high price and succeed, they set the price directly to the market demand (note that demand, a term that is misleading to those unfamiliar with econ, is derived from the quantity being actively purchased. commonly falsely thought of as a prediction derived from forecasted market conditions). In other words, if in January 100 people purchased epipen and payed $100 dollars for it, brining comfortable profit, the price in February will rise knowing that there was untapped market share in January.
    Here is how this concept come to play in the prescription drug scenario, and the cause of high prices
    When President Obama enacted the Affordable Care Act, he made it mandatory by law for citizens to have health insurance. This means that insurance companies had guaranteed customers. With guaranteed insurance holders, came guaranteed demand and ability to pay for pharmaceutical companies. In other words, the federal government created "demand" that was not driven by willingness to pay, or real market forces that set appropriate prices. Insurance companies can only afford to provide a level of service in which they can afford, so with a huge pool of people forced to buy their service, some new policy holders cannot afford high-quality coverage, so of course, the quality of insurance fell to match what was being purchased.
    When drug manufacturers raised the price of goods to meet new, unchecked, never-ending demand in the market, and insurance was providing sub-par coverage for the purchase of drugs (also in accordance to the artificial forced demand fro the gov mandate) prices soared, and the individual felt the burden left over from the insurers non-ability, and non-motivation to fully pay for the drugs.
    And just do be extra clear, the burden taken on by consumers is the difference between the actual demand which is decided by private individuals, and the artificial demand created by the Affordable Care Act.
    Privatized medicine and insurance creates competition, and keeps price in line with American's ability and willingness to pay; which of course, brings prices down significantly.
    ACA was the biggest disaster quite possibly in all of American History.

  • sebastian cuello
    sebastian cuello Year ago

    Skip to 2:35 to get the video's answer.

  • Dizzy Davis
    Dizzy Davis Year ago +2

    Cost $6 here in Australia if you're a low income, student or pensioner. Yet Americans act like any form of socialism is evil.....

  • Captcha Neon
    Captcha Neon Year ago

    The United States is ridiculous! If you would learn from other countries and stop being so greedy, people wouldn't be so broke they end up on Welfare. Also, you should never be allowed to raise prices against elderly people. The government needs to step in and refuse to allow people to charge excess like 5000% up charges.

  • derper derp
    derper derp Year ago

    like everything else, we get fucked due to a government that doesnt care about you. keep voting assholes.

  • steppenwolf
    steppenwolf Year ago

    really? people actually have to ask this? i can sum it up in one sentence: so the drug companies can make the most money off of you. THAT'S IT! end of list.

  • Ossie
    Ossie Year ago

    wow this bitch is dumb, shes just reading something someone else wrote for her, martin skreli is a hero

  • popoxee
    popoxee Year ago

    Not only the drug price is crazy, the hospital fee is unbearable for normal individuals and families. Two or three night of stays will cost you your whole year salary. US medical system is the most fucked-up in the world as I know.

  • biscoito1r
    biscoito1r Year ago

    Just buy it online fro India, this is what I did.

  • john doe
    john doe Year ago

    America fucking sucks

  • Osiris Malkovich
    Osiris Malkovich Year ago

    Almost a 4 minute video. How long does it take to say "greed?"

  • Alex Minor
    Alex Minor Year ago

    Silly Commies brains are for humans

  • Frank08046
    Frank08046 2 years ago +1

    The reason they are so high. Our politicians have sold us out, yet again.

  • MrFuthisshit
    MrFuthisshit 2 years ago

    I was so shocked when i learned how much the pill costs in the usa ( when i was on it i used to buy it for about 4$ a pack, the most expensive ones are about 10$ )

  • John Benton
    John Benton 2 years ago

    All prescriptions in UK cost £6.45 per item, unless you're one of the 40% who get them FOC. But thats where 'socialised' healthcare gets you.

  • Hardeep SIngh
    Hardeep SIngh 2 years ago

    Its FDA's fault you communist. It cost companies average of 10years and millions of dollars to approve a drug. SO LIKE EUROPE GOVERNMENT SHOULD SET THE PRICE? ARE YOU COMMUNIST? It is already expensive because for government managing and you think it will be cheaper if if they intervene more? You lefties are unbelieveable.

  • Asjad Hasan
    Asjad Hasan 2 years ago

    So everything just comes down to *capitalism*?

  • Young Squirrel
    Young Squirrel 2 years ago

    how powerful is my moms cooking ;)

  • promontorium
    promontorium 2 years ago

    This biased bullshit report proposes government forced price fixing like in Europe, and glosses over the fact that the whole reason drug companies have to charge so much is because the government makes it so expensive and difficult to get FDA approval in the first place. Lots of American companies just take their products overseas and sell them to Europeans and dodge the FDA altogether.
    These same companies charging low rates in Europe, this dumb bitch is accusing of intentionally charging high rates in America and "needing" (further) government intrusion to lower prices. Listen morons, if the company is willing to sell overseas cheap, why wouldn't they be willing to do it here? It's not about want. it's about force. Government forces them to raise prices. More government isn't the answer. If you want cheaper prices like Europe, change the FDA to not make it so expensive.

  • Tom Areani
    Tom Areani 2 years ago

    72% of Americans believe drug prices are unreasonable. Guess we 72% need to raise 4 billion dollars to beat out a few corporations in order for us to be heard up on capitol hill. Oh, wait. I forgot. Those corporations will just make sure to beat our bid by at least 1 billion...NVM.

  • Joel Reid
    Joel Reid 2 years ago

    Corruption of government that puts people's loves in danger... usually that is an excuse to overthrow the government. How do American's put up with that?

  • mosqaliuc
    mosqaliuc 2 years ago

    legalize cannabis world wide!!

  • BumbleBeyyy
    BumbleBeyyy 2 years ago

    Short Answer= Greed.

    • promontorium
      promontorium 2 years ago

      +fiercekween No dummy. Short answer: Regulation. The same companies selling to Europe at cheap prices are the ones you're calling greedy. Company the same, government attitude, way different. If America didn't require them to spend billions and decades to get approval, which Europe does not, they could charge a lot less.

  • Zeowl Owlite
    Zeowl Owlite 2 years ago

    in other country lobbying = bribery

  • Catzkhan
    Catzkhan 2 years ago

    Because the US is shit. I have to take a drug that is around 500 dollars a month, I don't pay a single cent cause my glorious third world Colombian government pays for it.

  • ancladoen1990
    ancladoen1990 2 years ago

    *Because big pharma has a monopoly in the drug industry. Overcharging poor sick people in a still unstable economy is the same as sentencing them to stay sick or die. In the mean time, CANNABIS which can replace many of these drugs, is still legal and demonized.* It wouldn't surprise me to find out that they are lobbying against cannabis cause it threatens their gold mine.

  • Jacob Severiano
    Jacob Severiano 2 years ago

    Americans need to stop calling giving money to politicians lobbying and call it what it is bribing at its worse.

  • Alexandre Teotónio Pereira Stüve

    Cause you ain't got no socialism

  • KTG
    KTG 2 years ago

    This is what dumbass Republicans want. 100% unregulated free market pricing. No wonder the majority of states on welfare are red states.

    • KTG
      KTG Year ago

      +promontorium Your Dad is touching you isn't he?

    • KTG
      KTG Year ago

      +promontorium yadayadayada skimmed that crap. let me know when you have proof.

    • promontorium
      promontorium Year ago

      +kemoblue4u Are you actually so fucking stupid you're bringing in drug deaths to argue for more regulation in the approval process? Those people don't die because the drug doesn't work, they die because the drug DOES WORK. Holy shit you're fucking braindead. Talking about people's parents, your mom needs to take your fucking computer away. Chain saws, when misused can cut off limbs and kill people, BECAUSE THEY WORK. A drug is specifically designed to alter a person's body. That kind of power can obviously be abused. A knife can help in life-saving surgery, or it can kill, BECAUSE IT FUCKING WORKS. The only fucking way you could make a drug that can't possibly cause harm is to make a drug that can't work.
      You aren't even comparing apples to oranges. You're screaming oranges like a fucking idiot and you don't even know what an apple is. Why the fuck should I even bother presenting statistics when you're so god damn stupid you think someone overdosing is valid argument against approving life-saving drugs. That's the purview of prescription law fucktard.

    • KTG
      KTG 2 years ago

      +promontorium Interesting. This idiot wants to deregulate the approval process for prescription drugs that already kill thousands of people each year. Yeah, I'm not going to look evidence in your favor. You made the argument, you present it. I'm guessing your dad and mom are brother and sister. Stop inbreeding.

    • promontorium
      promontorium 2 years ago

      +kemoblue4u Some how it seems your dumbshit ignorant comment actually gets even dumber the more times you write "retard" and "idiot." You don't have to believe me. And frankly, I don't fucking care. Because I'm not selling a religion. Look it up fucktard. The US FDA forces drug companies to spend billions getting approval. It's not just research, its trials, trials, trials, fees, fines, studies, permits, plans, inspections, etc. etc.
      You are so incoherent that I don't even know what vodoo fucktard conspiracy theory bullshit you're peddling about Europe. Are you suggesting that there is no regulation in Europe, or that you are suggesting that's what I'm saying? Either way you're fucking stupid.
      And by the way, fucktard, the government doesn't have to regulate drug prices, simply by forcing costs, it forces prices...or bankruptcy.
      If I said you could sell a gallon of Retard Juice, but first you had to spend $10,000 in studies, tests, fees, fines, and trials, you wouldn't be charging anything less than $10,001 per gallon. Sure, ultimate fucking moron, I gave ZERO REGULATION on the price. Yet somehow I still dictated it, didn't I?

  • Cre Mist
    Cre Mist 2 years ago +2

    Do a video on Antarctica's violations of international law.

  • Joshua Williams
    Joshua Williams 2 years ago

    Perfect example of immoral corporatism. Not Capitalism.

  • Chuck Taylor
    Chuck Taylor 2 years ago

    Marijuana heals many ailments these drugs don't. So many different strains to help, also some with very little amounts of THC.

  • Chocolate Kyle kulinski

    profits over people! !

  • fl00fydragon
    fl00fydragon 2 years ago

    drugs should be considered as an extention of the right of human life
    therefore pricegouging should be considered a crime against humanity

    • fl00fydragon
      fl00fydragon 2 years ago

      +promontorium well there are 2 issues
      one is the european model is accompanied by a governmental healthcare system and hard locks on prices where companies are prohibited to pricegouge
      the issue is that americans listen to that and shout "communist"
      just look at bernie sanders
      he is proposing the european healthcare system and is called a "leftist extremist/communist" in the media where in europe he would be claced somewhere around the center if not slightly to the right
      the second issue is that big pharma are holding back research that could create quick cures for ilnesses since they preffer to have a person on drugs for years as the ailment is treated
      an example to this is the hard block they put on CRISPR research
      not to mention about how flat the research for targeted drugs
      heck even in male contraception they had blocked a small company from releasing their product for decades untill they went bankrupt on the "side effect" of 3 in 1000 experienced a rash when their surgical contraceptive products had a green light despite having a chance of causing infection ,pain and permanent infertility
      or what about ilnesses that affect thousands or millions of people in the undeveloped world but have no cure because pharmaseuticals do not see an opening for profit ?
      take for example chagas disease
      they only have resently begun to research for a cure due to it affecting moslty people in latin america where they used to treat it with medicine developed for livestock
      research begun after blood transfusion and global warming is beggining to make the pathogen and its carriers respectively enter the southern states
      they said it themselves" of cource we are not trying to cure ilnesses but instead treat them after all we have to maximise the profit to our investors"
      if it is not the un i dont care
      but my opinion stands
      the research and development of medicine must be conducted by an organisation that has noting to gain from selling these drugs but instead are pressured either by law or emploer to act in the interest of the human race and ignore profit

    • promontorium
      promontorium 2 years ago

      +fl00fydragon Rather than exploring the hilariously insane idea of letting something entirely ineffective like NATO (or more likely the UN) take complete control of all chemical technology for humanity for all time, why not just look to Europe.
      They don't have expensive drugs, yet it's the same companies selling them drugs that are selling drugs in the US. Why is this?
      Europe doesn't make the drug companies waste billions on stupid shit. The FDA made Big Pharma because it makes lots of people lots of money. Europe doesn't have this problem because they don't force drug companies through ludicrous hoops.

    • fl00fydragon
      fl00fydragon 2 years ago

      +promontorium then that means the current health system is flawed and should be crapped and we need a new one in its place
      in my opinion the research andand development of drugs should be deprivatised globally and put under the control of nato or some other global organisation that has the following ruleset
      effectiveness and availability
      in other words a replacement of the current system that treats but dosent cure ilnesses to hold people hostage intheir own body to maximise income
      and replace it with one that promotes real research on groundbreaking medical technology
      a good example is the CRISPR gene editing tool
      it has the potential to eradicate cancer , genetic ilnesses and viral infections from the face of the planet
      but it got shot in the leg once a chinese firm developed a version that solved a lethal genetic ailment
      the reason is simple
      this tool if used as a medicine could eradicate 60% of our current ineffective high profile drugs

    • promontorium
      promontorium 2 years ago

      +fl00fydragon It's not price gouging if the FDA requires a company to sink billions into a drug, they need to make billions back just to stay in business.

  • ماجد الجرشي
    ماجد الجرشي 2 years ago

    How powerful is me?

  • Lip Jing Ng
    Lip Jing Ng 2 years ago

    because price inelasticity

  • campbellenious korsakoff

    Its disgustin how the U.S treats it citizens. Health care should be free, it's one of the only reasons I agree with taxes in the UK.

  • Ian Moone
    Ian Moone 2 years ago

    How powerful are the citizens

  • lifefource
    lifefource 2 years ago

    Crazy, cruel system. The only ways to change it are protests, electing different politicians, and Bernie Sanders.

  • armlovesmetal
    armlovesmetal 2 years ago

    But the R and D of any drug here in the USA is paid by tax payer money.

  • jasonc_tutorials
    jasonc_tutorials 2 years ago

    Alexander Schlugin did it as a hobby. Not for monetary. There is probably a cure for everything, except nobody knows because of zero marketing and it's probably a kept secret.

  • Heather Miles
    Heather Miles 2 years ago

    They should get something like The NHS in the US it would help poor people afford medical care and drugs!!

  • blackjin21
    blackjin21 2 years ago

    Simpsons did a episode on this 4 years ago

  • Bo Bi
    Bo Bi 2 years ago

    #TheBestCountryInTheWorld -.- 😒😒😒😒

  • Siddhartha Sahu
    Siddhartha Sahu 2 years ago

    Who are the Eskimos?

  • chadmaraj
    chadmaraj 2 years ago

    process involved for large scale manufacturing aswell is why Costs are so high...

  • Suna
    Suna 2 years ago

    Only in the fucking U.S. Here's to show that Capitalims is not a good system... palm in face... greedy people getting richer, it's outrageous

  • SpoopySquid
    SpoopySquid 2 years ago

    "America is the only developed nation that lets pharmacutical companies behave this way." - go figure

  • zukodude487987
    zukodude487987 2 years ago

    So the solution for spending less on drugs is to go vegan.

  • JMan
    JMan 2 years ago +1

    Bernie 2016

  • leeofthevoid
    leeofthevoid 2 years ago

    never heard of expensive prescriptions, much be an American thing. unless i'm simply not fucked up enough to know >.<

  • Uno G
    Uno G 2 years ago

    I don't think they are expensive at all $4.50 per prescription and $1.50 for a chemo therapy treatment. But then again I live in Australia.

  • Alaric
    Alaric 2 years ago

    "Capitalism is so bad! Look at this asshole that hiked the price up!"
    Oh wait, he lowered the price after awhile and he had a monopoly? Hmm..

    • Tarpet Lott
      Tarpet Lott 2 years ago

      +ArtificialPenguins that doesn't make any sense

  • sid
    sid 2 years ago

    who cares! atleast US has freedom

    • Tarpet Lott
      Tarpet Lott 2 years ago

      +sid > implying other countries don't

  • Lion Kiss
    Lion Kiss 2 years ago

    I don't care because ain't go to hospital but good for American people who believe in nasty doctor

  • Graham6762
    Graham6762 2 years ago

    Cui Bono from 9/11?

  • yakuza4
    yakuza4 2 years ago

    Why do I care about this, medication and healthcare is basically 'free' in the UK compared to the USA.

  • apburner1
    apburner1 2 years ago

    The obvious was left out. Prices in the US are higher to make up for the freeloaders that have socialist governments setting the price not based on actual costs.

  • Truth118
    Truth118 2 years ago

    How powerful is good weed?

  • SouthernMuscle
    SouthernMuscle 2 years ago

    The REAL reason drugs are so expensive in the U.S. and not other countries is because the U.S. forks over the research money to develope and research these drugs. Then, the rest of the world rips off the drug ingredients and manufactures it without any risk.

  • Jared Brooks
    Jared Brooks 2 years ago

    Please make a video about the Chagossians!

  • Ken McAllister
    Ken McAllister 2 years ago

    Get money out of politics and we'll see the price for all kinds things go way down.

  • CatSauceForThePeople
    CatSauceForThePeople 2 years ago

    Because profit for the rich is worth more than poor peoples lives.
    Because capitalism is evil.

  • Ralph Wiggum
    Ralph Wiggum 2 years ago

    Woo! Ireland!

  • Hans Landa
    Hans Landa 2 years ago

    Real reason? Because capitalism has created a society where money is more important than human lives. Money over all, the Amerian creed.

  • SpazzyMcGee1337
    SpazzyMcGee1337 2 years ago

    Is the lack of drug price regulation for making the development of new drugs more profitable? Americans have to spend more but America and the world ends up benefiting from a higher development rate for new drugs.

  • Mclauritsen
    Mclauritsen 2 years ago

    America is great for buisness. Not very good for people mind you, but great for buisness!

  • Seth Caplan
    Seth Caplan 2 years ago

    oddly enough drug patents must be patented during development, typically several years before they can be brought to market. That additional expense and risk also factors into high drug prices.

  • CrimsonFury006
    CrimsonFury006 2 years ago

    Kevin Trudeau was right all along about drug companies. There in it for the money, not to help patients. If the opposite was true, all the drug companies would be bankrupt now. Not to mention, these drugs create very bad side effects, in which one would need another drug to counteract that, and another drug to counter act that, etc. It is insanity! No wonder why I find natural ways to treat my aliments. Want to learn more? Read " Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About". Great read!

  • Quagthistle
    Quagthistle 2 years ago

    The free market at work! Behold the greed destroying our nation.

  • xDarkcynx
    xDarkcynx 2 years ago

    this video is bullshit. the same drug in india that i take costs them about $3 where as it cost me $140 in australia

  • Ricky Hyde
    Ricky Hyde 2 years ago

    So backwards...

  • Aguila701
    Aguila701 2 years ago

    Republicans disagree with this video.

  • Aguila701
    Aguila701 2 years ago

    If only people knew what money really is.

  • Stephen Bruner
    Stephen Bruner 2 years ago

    I quit smoking and drinking over 20 years ago, my health is very good. So far I have NO need for Big Pharma's overpriced products. Our govt. protects their greed.

    AKFAN FORTYSEVEN 2 years ago

    You forgot to mention the shareholders. The number one order of business is to make the shareholders happy. And to do that, they get the lions share of quarterly profits.

  • Humvee201
    Humvee201 2 years ago

    Ahh, Free Health Care....I want to move to Canada

  • Kyle D
    Kyle D 2 years ago

    dear people of youtube,
    there is a way to retaliate against drug companies. the answer is TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. eat healthy food. get your proper nutrition. exercise. drink water. get enough sleep. simple shit. do all this and i guarantee most of you will never need to set foot in a pharmacy again
    someone who actually cares