A pharmaceutical firm's recent decision to hike the cost of a prescription drug that treats foodborne illness from $18 to $750 per tablet outraged millions of Americans.
The move prompted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to accuse the Swiss-American company Turing of "price gouging." The following day, Clinton unveiled her national plan to rein in drug prices -- and borrowed an idea from California: cap out-of-pocket costs for some prescriptions to save patients with chronic or serious health conditions thousands of dollars.
The Golden State's effort to tackle the issue of skyrocketing drug prices is among the most aggressive in the nation, opening up a wider debate over an industry whose sales account for 10 percent of the nation's $3 trillion in annual health care costs.
There seems little doubt that the controversy over rising drug prices will rage on and become a key issue in the presidential race. Though average generic drug prices have fallen by more than half since 2008, costs for the name-brand prescription drugs that treat chronic and life-threatening diseases have more than doubled over that period, up 127 percent, far more than the 11.24 percent inflation rate.
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