March 16, 2018

Credit: Patrick Sison / AP Photo

If you've noticed the cost of your medication going up over the years, you're not alone. Humira, the top selling drug in the U.S., has doubled in price since 2012, costing more than $38,000 a year. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are finding it harder and harder to develop new products. We talk with journalists Matthew Herper and Barry Werth about the challenges of developing affordable drugs.

Three Takeaways:

  • Legislators have done little to curb surging drug prices in the U.S. While some have pushed for more transparency in how new medications are developed, powerful lobbyists and a decentralized American medical system make policy change unlikely.
  • Where lawmaking falls short in controlling costs, public shaming can work. Companies sometimes pull back if reporters shine a spotlight on rising prices, but few other options exist to address such inflation.
  • In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that the processing power of computers would double every two years. It became known as Moore's Law. Eroom's Law (Moore's Law spelled backwards) predicts that as time passes, the cost of developing new drugs becomes exponentially more expensive — a price companies may pass on to you.

More Reading:

Barry Werth, Matthew Herper, medication, big pharma, drugs, pharmaceuticals

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