Prescription drugs scrutinized

More than three million Minnesotans – seven out of 10 adults in the state – used one or more prescription […]

Illustration of cup with medication next to it

More than three million Minnesotans – seven out of 10 adults in the state – used one or more prescription drugs in 2021, according to an analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). But with many drug prices growing much faster than the rate of inflation, there is an increasing risk of people rationing needed medications or skipping them altogether. 

The first-of-its-kind data release for Minnesota was issued today by MDH as part of the implementation of the Minnesota Prescription Drug Price Transparency initiative. It gives Minnesotans new insight into how much drug prices increased in 2022 and at what prices new drugs came to the market. These detailed data are available in several interactive dashboards, giving Minnesota policymakers and payers additional information to begin addressing high drug prices. 

The report and dashboards are available on the MDH Prescription Drug Price Transparency webpage. Among the report findings, the data reveal that list prices for many prescription drugs are growing significantly faster than the rate of inflation. For the drugs with the fastest growing prices subject to Minnesota reporting, list prices rose on average 41.6 percent from 2017 to 2022. 

While some drugs in the market faced competition, many were still able to demand hefty price increases. This raises questions about whether market forces for certain products are keeping costs in check. Prices for new drugs were high and vary wildly, according to the data.  

“Being able to afford your health care – including needed medications – is a critical aspect of well-being and peace of mind,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham. “This is a need regardless of where you live in Minnesota and what coverage you have. The data indicate some worrisome patterns of price inflation, and it is important to sharpen our focus on transparency and policy solutions.” 

(Source: Minnesota Department of Health) 

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