What will Pharma do to maximize profits? The answer isn't theoretical. It's happening right now.
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington's health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation's drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.
In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. That will add more than $10 billion to the nation's drug bill, which is on track to exceed $300 billion this year. By at least one analysis, it is the highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992.
The story includes input from Prof. Steve Schondelmeyer of the University of Minnesota, who, for 6 straight years, has given of his time to come and speak to my undergrad and graduate health journalism students on pharma and pharma pricing issues.