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At the Legislature: Prescription drug prices are just too high | Lewiston Sun Journal

The story is all too common these days. A widely available and affordable drug used to treat a chronic or life-threatening illness suddenly skyrockets in price, seemingly overnight, leaving folks struggling to pay and worried about what the future might hold. The price of insulin has more than doubled in recent years. In 2015, Rodelis Therapeutics jacked up the cost of a drug used to treat tuberculosis by 2000% after acquiring the rights to produce it.

In one of the most high-profile examples of this dubious practice, Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of Daraprim, a life-saving drug used to treat infections, from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill. Turing’s CEO, Martin Shkreli, testified in front of Congress, smirking throughout the hearing and avoiding questions from lawmakers whom he later described as “imbeciles.” Mr. Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud last year, and is now serving a seven-year prison sentence.

The people most impacted by high drug costs are everyday folks like you and me. One in four Americans struggle to pay for their prescription medication, and one in ten go without needed medication due to cost.

Corporate greed is at the heart of this practice. Drug companies are raking in record profits from these price hikes. A 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed that pharmaceutical and biotechnology sales revenue increased from $534 billion to $775 billion between 2006 and 2015.

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At the Legislature: Prescription drug prices are just too high | Lewiston Sun Journal.

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