Health coverage protects us from most of Big Pharma’s price gouging, but drugs with six-figure price tags drive up the cost of care for everyone.
In 2017, California passed SB 17 to bring pharmaceutical companies’ pricing tactics out of the dark and begin to address the growing affordability crisis. The bill, which will serve as a model for the nationwide push to address rising prescription drug prices, came on the tails of truly outrageous price hikes, like Mylan’s decision to needlessly up the price of EpiPens by nearly 500 percent and Gilead Sciences’ pricing of a lifesaving treatment at $1,000 per pill. While examples like these are widely known, the pharmaceutical industry has been quietly upping the price of old and new drugs alike. This destructive practice has led prescription drug prices to become the fastest growing portion of the health care dollar.