The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Issue 1521
Prescription Drug Prices in the US; Valbenazine (Ingrezza) for Tardive Dyskinesia; Oxymetazoline Cream (Rhofade) for Rosacea; FDA Warns Against Use of Codeine and Tramadol in Children and Breastfeeding Women; Another Subcutaneous Immune Globulin (Cuvitru) for Primary Immunodeficiency (online only); Vonvendi - Recombinant von Willebrand Factor (online only); Comparison Table: Some Topical Drugs for Rosacea (online only)
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Prescription Drug Prices in the US
Revised 2/13/18: In Table 2, footnote 11 has been added, and is related to the Canadian cost of Advair HFA.

Per capita spending on prescription drugs in the US is higher than in other industrialized nations, including Canada.1

OTHER COUNTRIES — In most industrialized countries, unlike the US, drug prices are regulated by the government. Centralized advisory boards determine the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a drug. Prices are based in part on external price referencing (comparison of drug prices in several countries to determine a reference price) and are often transparent and capped.2 Fewer payers are involved, and in some countries, there is only a single public payer.

LIST PRICE vs NEGOTIATED PRICE — Drug pricing in the US is complicated by multiple factors, including list prices that do not reflect what is actually paid for a drug, the number of middlemen involved in getting a drug from the manufacturer to ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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