The Cost of Providing Drugs to the World

February 17th, 2014 Infographics


Being an American citizen comes with a ton of perks. However, affordable prescription medications are not one of those perks. Unfortunately, Americans pay 50 to 100 percent more on medications than any other country in the world. On average, each person forks out $983 on prescriptions every year. These high prices are a frustrating reality that every American has had to face at one point or another. Most of us are completely unaware of the reason behind these high prices, but the answer is simple. The research and development of new, innovative drugs is costing Americans a pretty penny.

The United States is the largest biopharmaceutical researcher in the world, and our pharmaceutical firms conduct 80 percent of the world’s research and development in biotechnology. However, all this research and development isn’t cheap. The average cost of a newly-developed drug in the U.S. ranges from $4 to $11 billion dollars. That means the pharmaceutical industry spends, on average, $225 billion per year on bringing new drugs to market.

Are these medications even worth the cost?

In 2012, 15 new drugs were approved by the FDA and noted for their significant contributions to the quality of life and health of patients. These medications helped in the fight against diseases like breast cancer, chronic leukemia, HIV and Cystic Fibrosis, just to name a few. Although prescription prices are high, those medications saved patients thousands of dollars on additional health care services. Patients with conditions like diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure saved $1,200 to $7,800 just by taking their medications.

Take a look at this eye-opening infographic to learn the true price of innovative medications.


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