Mostly people took medications to keep their cholesterol levels and diabetes in control. The use of antidepressants also showed a marked increase and has tripled since 1988. An interesting point is that the use of prescription drugs is most common among elderly users. Observers quote that the increase in the use of prescribed drugs is largely due to the fact that people like to take the easy way out; instead of improving their eating habits and lifestyles, they prefer to take medications. Nowadays you will find a medicine for every problem, from pain in the toes to brain tumor, there is a pill for everything. The benefits of prescription are many, many long term diseases have been cured or prevented; the biggest benefit of prescribed drugs remains that it prevents other expenses such as hospitalization or a possible surgery. As stated by Petty (2007) the use of prescription medications has provided relief to many patients suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and many other ailments. Life expectancy has greatly increased with the use of prescription medications and so has the quality of life. For a nation which has become totally dependent on prescription drugs, the Americans are feeling the crunch of the costly prescription drugs. There are several factors which account for the expensive prescription drugs; the consumers however blame the pharmaceutical companies the most.
Carlson (2006) argues that the pharmaceutical companies’ claim that the exorbitant prices of the drugs was due to the unreasonable regulations by the Food and Drug Administration in America. Carlson cited extensive marketing as one of the major causes of the high cost of the prescription drugs. ...
Carlson cited extensive marketing as one of the major causes of the high cost of the prescription drugs. According to Carlson the pharmaceutical companies spend a king’s ransom to aggressively market their products thereby influencing the physicians to prescribe their products. These marketing gimmicks also increase the demand by patients. Another reason for the high cost of prescription drugs is the expensive and extensive research carried out by the pharmaceutical companies. The drug companies claim that the expensive prescription medicines fund their research and if the cost of the medicines is reduced, it will cut down their research projects and they may not be able to produce life saving drugs for chronic diseases. Kimbuende, Ranji and Salganicoff (2010) further revealed that although there was a small increase (9%) in the population in United States, the use and of the prescription drugs increased by 39%. The studies also showed that there was a growing trend among doctors of prescribing newer and costly medicines instead of recommending older and cheaper although equally effective drugs. Also the prices of drugs have increased sharply and faster than the overall inflation. The patent laws which give the manufacturers monopoly for a limited time are also responsible for the sky rocketing prices of prescription drugs. The companies register any new drug and have its sole rights for the next twenty years after that it can be reproduced by other drug manufacturers and sold at lower prices. In order to keep the drug within the company many pharmaceutical companies release a slightly different versions of the drug thus extending their monopoly over