The $800 Million Pill
IN THIS SUMMARY
The price of prescription drugs is high and steadily rising. Through Medicare and Medicaid, much of the costs are absorbed by the government, and thus by the taxpayers. With these costs becoming more and more burdensome, the public has the right to understand why drugs carry such a high price tag. The pharmaceutical industry argues that current drug prices must support research and development for future breakthroughs. An industry-funded study from Tufts University asserted that the average price tag for developing a new drug was over $800 million; however, many are not convinced. In The $800 Million Pill, Merrill Goozner argues that the development of several significant drugs has depended upon both financial and scientific government contributions, and that the industry’s drug prices exaggerate their own investment and hunger for profit rather than supporting innovation.