Health Affairs This Week is on a break this week. Today, we are publishing an episode from A Health Podyssey, where Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil brings you in-depth conversations with leading researchers and influencers shaping the big ideas in health policy and the health care industry. Health Affairs This Week will return next week.
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The United States is facing a drug affordability crisis.
Even as we celebrate scientific discovery, the health benefits of drugs are limited due to barriers of affordability, often even for people with health insurance. The RAND Corporation reports that on average drug prices in the United States are more than two and a half times those in 32 other nations studied. The disparities are even wider when we focus just on brand name drugs.
Drug pricing is the subject of seemingly perennial debates. One side focuses on access barriers due to high prices while the other side argues that lower prices threaten future innovation.
Stacie Dusetzina from Vanderbilt University Medical Center joins A Health Podyssey to talk about the complex world of drug pricing.
She and colleagues published a paper in the April 2022 issue of Health Affairs examining the degree to which people with Medicare prescription drug benefits use the drugs that are prescribed to them.
In the paper, the authors found non-initiation rates among some beneficiaries of greater than 50 percent for certain treatments.
If you enjoy this interview, order the April 2022 Health Affairs issue to get research on access to care, hospitals and more.