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Drug Prices and the Rising Cost of Health Care

Tuesday October 2003


J. D. Kleinke Founding Executive, HCIA Inc. Member, Editorial Board, Health Affairs

After a brief lull in the 1990s, health insurance companies have raised their premiums by as much as 25 percent. Disgruntled consumers are feeling the pinch as employers pass along these hikes in the form of higher copayments and fewer choices of health plans. At the same time, insurers claim that a rapid rise in prescription drugs prices is forcing them to raise premiums, as well as driving up overall health care spending. Both claims are echoed as fact by a credulous media.

Will capping prescription drug prices rein in surging insurance premiums? What is the relationship between prescription drug prices and health care inflation? Please join us for an in-depth look at the relationship between prescription drug prices and rising insurance premiums, and how the media understands—or misunderstands—the relationship between these two market forces.

J. D. Kleinke is a medical economist, author, and health information technology entrepreneur. His work has appeared in the Journal of American Medicine, Barron’s, the British Medical Journal, Modern Healthcare, and numerous other publications. His first book, Bleeding Edge: The Business of Health Care in the New Century (1998), is considered a definitive health care business text within the academic, medical, and financial communities.