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From The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
March 13, 2018

Prescription Drug Prices in the US

JAMA. 2018;319(10):1042-1043. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1844

Per capita spending on prescription drugs in the US is higher than in other industrialized nations, including Canada.1

In most industrialized countries, unlike the US, drug prices are regulated by the government. Centralized advisory boards determine the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a drug. Prices are based in part on external price referencing (comparison of drug prices in several countries to determine a reference price) and are often transparent and capped.2 Fewer payers are involved, and in some countries, there is only a single public payer.

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