Drugs are a key component of most medical treatments. When their price is too high, getting treated may become too much of a burden, for individuals and societies.
High drug prices, especially for those recently introduced in the market, are due to the monopoly granted by patents and defended as a necessary incentive to warrant continuous innovation by the industry. I find this arguable, and increasingly untenable.
I actually wrote about that a few years ago (shameless self-promotion alert): de Camargo Jr, Kenneth Rochel. “Science, knowledge, and society.” American journal of public health 101, no. 8 (2011): 1352.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a news item at the BBC’s website that basically gets to the same conclusion: “We need to move to a system where new drugs are priced as close to the cost of production as possible – and where innovation is paid for and rewarded separately. We need innovation and affordable access.”
I hope I live to see this, but I’m not very optimistic.