Humira is one of the best-selling drugs in American history. It is an injectable medication for multiple forms of arthritis, skin conditions, multiple autoimmune and inflammatory bowel diseases, and importantly it costs three times as much in the United States as in Switzerland. In the one year of 2014, $6.5 billion was spent my millions of Americans on Humira prescriptions. So if the US paid what the Swiss paid for the drug, the cost to US patients would have been USD$2 billion rather than USD$6.5 billion.
What is the reason for this? The Chief Executive of the International Federation of Health Plans states the US is terrible at negotiating deals on medical services. Mr. Tom Sackville states “it’s exactly the same product, but, in terms of the American patient, you’re just paying double or more the price for no more health gain.”