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Invited Commentary
Health Care Policy and Law
November 2017

A Much-Needed Corrective on Drug Development Costs

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editorial Department, Modern Healthcare, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(11):1575-1576. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4997

Contemporary pharmaceutical industry pricing practices are threatening to undermine the health care industry’s and policymakers’ efforts at cost control. Egregious as the price hikes are, the hedge fund managers who gained notoriety for exorbitant price increases on some generics are the least of the problem. The 2 biggest drivers of high drug costs in recent years have been the steady increase in prices for existing on-patent drugs, which account for more than 70% of all drug spending, and the 6-figure retail prices set for the latest generation of specialty and cancer therapeutics.

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