Why are prescription medicines so expensive?
prescription medicines so expensive:-
Harvard university research study revealed that prescription drugs with exorbitant costs are branded drugs. The study also found that drug costs in the United States tend to be on the higher side than in countries on the European continent. The branded companies keep a monopoly on drugs for several years beyond the patient expiry date, on one excuse or other, reap huge monetary benefits.
The prescription drugs are on the higher cost side in countries where Generic medicine manufacturers are not allowed to make medicines soon after the launch of new drugs in the market. Some administration and regulatory policies combined with the delay in registration of new drugs take time, which keeps price high for drugs in the critical drugs category.
Branded drugs are expensive – corporate view
The higher prices are of branded drugs which are made by leading pharmaceutical brands. The giant pharmaceutical companies report that they have to spend a huge amount on research and development. They also mention that it takes a lot of investment to spend on the creation of new formulations for drugs, which often fail before the final formulation is selected for making a drug.
They have to pay several doctors, scientists, and other medical staff to work exclusively on the particular drug formulations. But these corporates also say that once, the initial investment is recovered, the generic version is launched which lowers the price of drugs.
Then generic drug manufacturers use the same active chemical ingredient Vardenafil to make Levitra 40mg, a higher vardenafil dose for erectile dysfunction. Every generic company in the world can make the same medicine with a different name by keeping the same active ingredient.
High research and development cost is often exaggerated
Drugmakers justify the high cost of their branded drugs on the basis of their investment and high cost. They mention that since they had to work from the stretch to create a drug, it involved a huge investment that was entirely funded by them. Now, they have to recover the cost and make some little profit.
However, experts who conducted a study on their claim found that in many cases the funds for making new drugs are provided by the government of the country through the national health ministry.
Patent laws in some countries keep cost high
Patent laws in the United States allow drug manufacturers to keep the patient for 20 years. So, the particular drug maker remains the sole manufacturer during this period. Many of these drugs are used for rare medical conditions. Sometimes the drug is not found easily with other manufacturers for easy import. This creates conditions for higher prices.
A congressional study in the United States found that once a generic medicine comes into the market, the price comes down by 55 percent. The price further comes down when there is more than one generic drug maker in the market. This is the precise reason which makes Sildenafil citrate 150 mg, a recommended dose by doctors for severe cases. Generic drug manufacturers take the same active ingredient to make the drug with the same medicinal properties. The only difference is that some minor ingredients for color etc. may be different. But the main chemical ingredient has to be the same.
Regulatory approvals are delayed in some countries
Generic medicines makers need regulatory approvals, which delays their manufacturing process. In the United States, half the states require drug makers to get patient consent before producing generic versions of the same branded drug.
Many investigations have revealed that some bigger pharmaceutical companies themselves create generic versions of their famous branded drugs to keep the monopoly over the hot products. This also restricts the chances of lowering the prices by keeping other generic companies out of the manufacturing process.
The high cost of branded drugs is due to several regulatory reasons. Governments also feel that for some years, the drug manufacturer needs to keep a monopoly over the drug to recover investment and some profit. It is good for keeping an incentive for pharmaceutical companies with big funds to do research and development on newer drug formulation. However, after 20 years as rule, a generic version of the same drug has to enter the market.