A Primer On The Economics Of Prescription Pharmaceutical Pricing In Health Insurance Markets
The pricing of medical products and services in the U.S. is notoriously complex. In health care, supply prices (those received by the manufacturer) are distinct from demand prices (those paid by the patient) due to health insurance. The insurer, in designing the benefit, decides what prices patients pay out-of-pocket for drugs and other products. In this primer the authors characterize cost and supply conditions in markets for generic and branded drugs, and apply basic tools of microeconomics to describe how an insurer, acting on behalf of its enrollees, would set demand prices for drugs.