In the U.S. today, there exists a widespread resentment against the cost of prescription medication. On average, prescription medications (and, indeed, over the counter too) cost the American consumer 2.5 times as much as the average price reckoned across other developed nations such as Canada, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom. There are several reasons for this, but these usually all boil down to the relatively non-interventionist approach of the United States federal government when it comes to the marketing of drugs to the U.S. market.

Such an approach generally allows the large pharmaceutical companies – American and foreign alike – to set their own prices. And this is normally justified by the argument that the extra revenue gathered from the American market is essential to fund the research into new life-saving drugs. To put it somewhat dramatically, a common argument holds that if the government forced down the prices of drugs (something that it can do and which has been done in many other countries), the research would be underfunded and – heaven forbid – the cure for cancer might be missed.

The Research Argument

The truth of the matter is, however, that this is an entirely disingenuous argument. While it is certainly true that the American market is the largest in the world by quite some way (being almost four times larger than the second placed Japanese market), and that a great deal of the revenue that funds research will come from the U.S., this argument would only hold true if this extra revenue were actually being spent on research.

As things stand, it has been demonstrated that the revenue generated in the U.S. for the twenty best selling drugs alone would more than pay for the research that is currently being done. Given that the extra revenue (compared to other countries) generated in the U.S. would allow for considerably more research funding, it is telling that this is clearly not where it is being spent. Instead, that extra is pure profit – and prices for American medication remains prohibitively high.

The Canadian Solution

One of the effects of this state of affairs has been that more and more Americans are turning towards online Canadian pharmacies to supply their drugs. The main reason for this is, of course, that they are considerably cheaper (often around 70% cheaper) but also that they have been demonstrated to be every bit as safe and secure as drugs in the U.S. They are the exact same drugs, after all, and they are subject toquality checks officially equivalent to those carried out in the U.S.

The Power of Federalism

If there is a solution to this clearly dismal state of affairs, then perhaps it lies in the power of federalism. The figures we have been working with so far have been averaged across the U.S., but the truth is that not every state charges the same. While it should be noted that nowhere in the U.S. are prescription medications quite as cheap as in Canada, things that patients cannot go abroad for – such as hospital stays or doctor’s consultations – could theoretically be sought in another state with cheaper healthcare.

Most Expensive States for Prescription Medication

So which states are the main offenders? We conclude this article with the twelvemost expensive states for medication costs, beginning with the cheapest among them and working down. As we are working with the prices of many different and diverse drugs, there cannot be a single figure for cost – only a relative positioning:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Florida
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Colorado
  5. Maryland
  6. Texas
  7. The District of Columbia
  8. Nebraska
  9. Illinois
  10. Alabama
  11. Utah
  12. Tennessee