Austin Frakt over at The Incidental Economist points out that the cost of brand name prescription drugs has skyrocketed relative to the price of their generic counterparts:
While this doesn’t pose a significant problem for seniors on Medicare — surveys have shown that close to 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with their Medicare plans, largely thanks to the fact that Obamacare helps save seniors money on their prescription drugs by closing the program’s “donut hole” coverage gap — it is a concerning trend for those with private insurance plans whose benefits might not be as generous.
The rise in brand name prescription drug costs mirrors the general trend for health care costs, which have been skyrocketing over the last three decades. As private insurers hike their premium rates in response to the price of care, Americans with extensive drug needs may see the cost of their treatments slip into unaffordable territory.
Furthermore, the upward trajectory in brand name drug prices poses a significant hurdle for Americans suffering from rarer disorders. These consumers require a more complex cocktail of drugs to meet their medical needs — needs that likely cannot be met by existing generic drugs.