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Why prescription drugs are so expensive in the U.S.

Key Points
  • Prescription drugs are more expensive in the U.S. than other countries.
  • Our reporter breaks it down for you.
The reason prescription drugs in the U.S. are so expensive may surprise you

Why are prescription drugs so expensive in the U.S., relative to other countries? And why is there so little transparency around cost?

Tensions are flaring up about this question in Washington D.C after a series of high-profile cases, like the skyrocketing cost of a lifesaving allergy medication. And consumers are bearing more of these costs now with the rise of high-deductible health plans.

There are a lot of reasons why drugs are so costly, ranging from the U.S. government's lack of negotiating power and the lack of competition among drug makers.

It's complicated, but we broke it down for you with the help of health industry expert and entrepreneur Stephen Buck.