The high cost of prescription drugs is among consumers' top health policy issues, according to public opinion polls. And it's one of the few health issues that Republicans and Democrats agree needs addressing. Yet try as they might, policymakers have been able to make only incremental changes in drug price policy during the past three decades.
Why is lowering drug prices so hard? The political clout of the powerful drug industry plays a role. Also, the problem is particularly complex because drugs pass through so many hands between manufacturing and the pickup at the pharmacy counter.
This week KHN's "What the Health?" podcast takes a deep dive into the policy and politics of prescription drug prices. First, host Julie Rovner talks with Stacie Dusetzina, a drug price researcher and associate professor at Vanderbilt University.
Then panelists Sarah Karlin-Smith, Anna Edney and Joanne Kenen join Rovner for a discussion of the prospects for policy change.
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.