Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry is rife, with people’s health being disregarded in the quest to make a quick buck.Just look at former hedge funder Martin Shkreli who increased the price of an AIDS pill by 5500 overnight, although this is just one case of the appalling corruption that is present in the business.
This chart illustrates how drug prices in the US are up to 10 times higher than in other developed countries. The data comes from the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP) 2013 Comparative Price Report
Some of the worst price differences include:
Enbrel (for autoimmune disease)
Enbrel is similar to Daraprim, the drug Martin Shkreli’s company prices at $750 per pill. The pill is prescribed for HIV/AIDS patients. While the drug is $1,117 per month under the UK’s National Health System (NHS), but the average health plan in the US charges between $1,946 and $4,006 per month for the drug.
Celebrex (for pain)
According to the IFHP, Celebrex is commonly prescribed for pain around the world. The drug costs only $51 in Canada, but between $139 and $431 per month in the US.
Copaxone (for multiple sclerosis)
Copaxone, a drug prescribed to some of the 40,000 MS sufferers in the US. It costs between $862 and $1,357 per month in Europe. But in the US, Copaxone costs between $3,900 and $4,018 each month, the same as the average monthly income in the US.
Cymbalta (for anxiety and depression)
Anxiety and depression are silent illnesses, with around 18% of all US adults suffering at some point in their life. Cymbalta is one of the most common prescriptions for anxiety and depression. The drug only costs $46 per month under an NHS health plan, but in the US it costs at least 4 times as much, between $161 and $349 on most plans.
Gleevec (for leukemia)
One of the biggest proce differences is for Gleeves, to treat leukemia. The average US health plan charges between $5,482 and $11,007 for the drug, but the same drug is available for $989 per month in New Zealand, and $1,141 in Canada.
Humira (for rheumatoid arthritis)
Humira, which the IFHP says is commonly prescribed for RA, costs only $881 per month in Switzerland, and as much as $1,950 in Canada. But under US health plans, Humira costs up to $4,089 per month.
Nexium (for acid reflux)
Nearly 60% of US adults will need to be treted for acid reflux and indigestion problems. While Nexium costs just $42 per month in the UK, the drug costs between $200 and $400 in the US.