WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today released her latest report in her ongoing investigation into dramatic increases in prescription drug prices. The report found that, on average, Missourians pay up to 591% more than their foreign counterparts for some of the most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D program.
The report comes on the heels of President Trump’s proposal that Medicare base certain drug payments on the prices paid in other industrialized countries.
“The bottom line is that when it comes to prescription drug prices, Missourians are taking it on the chin, and it's not fair,” McCaskill said. “There’s simply no reason that the cost of a drug in Versailles, Missouri, should be 7 times higher than in Versailles, France.”
READ THE REPORT: Manufactured Crisis: How Drugs Can Cost 7x More in Versailles, Missouri than in Versailles, France
The report compared prices for the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D program to official regulatory prices and pricing information from certified pharmacies for the same drugs in Canada, France, and Italy. In the United States in 2016, per capita spending on prescription drugs ranged from 52% to 198% higher than in 25 other industrialized countries. For Missourians, prices are on average anywhere from 166% to 591% higher than prices charged to their foreign counterparts in the three countries.
The report’s key findings include:
- On average, Missourians pay anywhere from 166% to 591% more than their foreign counterparts in Canada, France, and Italy for 13 of the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D program.
- Patients in Versailles, France, pay $76.79 for the popular blood thinner Xarelto, while residents of Versailles, Missouri, pay $530.74—591% more than their French counterparts.
- Patients in Milan, Italy, pay $91.47 for the diabetes medication Januvia, while residents of Milan, Missouri, pay $418.82—358% more than their Italian counterparts.
- Patients in Sedalia, Canada, pay $199.75 for Lyrica, a prescription drug developed to treat nerve and muscle pain, while residents of Sedalia, Missouri, pay $681.25—241% more than their Canadian counterparts.
As the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, McCaskill has made investigating rising prescription drug costs a top priority. In March, McCaskill released a bombshell report which found that the prices of several of the most popular brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D program skyrocketed between 2012 and 2017, increasing at almost ten times the annual average rate of inflation in this period. In August, another McCaskill report showed that drug prices directly negotiated by the government could save the Medicare Part D program $2.8 billion in a single year on the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs alone. During McCaskill’s time as the top Democrat on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, she joined Republican Committee Chairman Susan Collins to launch an in-depth investigation into prescription drug price increases.
McCaskill has also tackled rising healthcare and prescription drug costs in the Senate with legislation. Earlier this month, President Trump signed into law her bipartisan legislation to prohibit “pharmacy gag clauses” that lead to consumers needlessly overpaying for prescriptions. McCaskill introduced legislation earlier this year to end taxpayer subsidies pharmaceutical companies receive for the billions of dollars they spend on prescription drug advertising each year, which currently is fully tax-deductible. Additionally, McCaskill’s bipartisan legislation to increase competition for generic drugs and help lower prescription costs was also signed into law by President Trump.