Increasing access to medicines: A critical look at pharmaceutical patents

Tahir Amin, of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge, challenges the practice of extending patents, which he believes is restricting patients’ access to the treatments they need. Read his opinion piece in Deep Dive: Market Access II.

Amin points out that Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, but only a fraction of the millions of people with diseases like hepatitis C are getting the life-saving medicine they need. Every day, 48 people in the US die from this curable disease alone. That’s because two out of every three Americans who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C do not receive treatment, largely due to the high cost.

We’ve reached a tipping point where this issue is impacting the lives of Americans in every part of the country. States such as Pennsylvania are forced to ration treatment, providing it to only the sickest patients, and many insurers refuse to cover it because of the high price. States from Louisiana to Nevada to Maryland have even taken decisive steps to lower drug prices for their residents.

So why are drug prices so high and what should be done about the issue? Read more in the full article here.

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Read the full Deep Dive: Market Access II magazine here.

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