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How do prescription drug costs in the United States compare to other countries?

This collection explores the challenges of prescription drug affordability in the United States compared to other wealthy nations, highlighting high costs and substantial out-of-pocket expenses for Americans. Click here for article.

  • Prescription drug spending per capita in the U.S. was $1,126 in 2019, double the average of comparable countries at $552, driven by higher prices and extensive use of brand-name medications.

  • Out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. ($164 per capita in 2019) is significantly higher than in other comparable nations, contributing to financial burdens for patients.

  • Prices of brand-name drugs for conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are notably higher in the U.S. compared to countries such as the U.K. and Germany.

  • While generics account for 90% of dispensed prescriptions in the U.S., they represent only 19.8% of total drug spending, indicating challenges in reducing overall prescription drug costs despite their lower prices.

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