The cost of prescription medicines in the U.S. continues to rise, and for many, lifesaving medicines such as insulin are inaccessible due to cost.
With one in four people in the U.S. reporting they cannot afford their prescription medicines and with steady increases in the price of drugs set by pharmaceutical companies, profits are being prioritized over patients, resulting in worsening health outcomes.
The U.S. spends more money on health care than any other nation in the world, yet since patients’ access to medicines and health care is dependent on every individual’s finances, health insurance status, employment and other socioeconomic factors, many people must forgo the care they need due to cost. This is unacceptable in the wealthiest nation in the world, but because our system does not consider health as a human right, we have continued to witness widening health disparities, particularly among historically underrepresented communities. These disparities have further accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, efforts were made to address skyrocketing medication and health care costs in the Build Back Better legislative package, and there were calls to action to ensure that the legislation included several critical health provisions.