Is there a cure for the rising cost of prescription drugs?

Drug capsules
Picture taken on January 15, 2012 in Lille, northern France, of drug capsules.
Philippe Huguen | AFP | Getty Images

Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world. While we do have a lot of prescriptions, the main culprit is the cost. For some medicines, prices have tripled in the last few years.

Americans aren't happy about it. A survey last week shows more than 75% of Americans say drug prices are unreasonable. But during a Congressional hearing last week, pharmaceutical executives said their hands are tied by the current healthcare system, and that they need profits to fund new research.

MPR News host Kerri Miller was joined by Dr. Walid Gellad, the director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, and David Mitchell, the founder of the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs. We also talked to Robert Zirkelbach, executive vice president of public affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade group that represents the pharmaceutical industry.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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