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NEW REPORT: North Carolinians Struggle to Afford Increasingly High Prescription Drug Costs

August 18, 2020

NEW REPORT: North Carolinians Struggle to Afford Increasingly High Prescription Drug Costs

Analysis Recommends Senate Action to Address Skyrocketing Drug Costs

Raleigh, N.C. – Today, Piedmont Rising released a new report finding that excessively high drug prices, a result of the unchecked pharmaceutical industry, put many North Carolinians in the impossible position of choosing between health and financial security, especially as Americans face lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Key Highlights

  • The average annual cost of brand-name medications has more than tripled in the last 10 years.

  • Individuals who saw a spike in their out-of-pocket costs were almost twice as likely to “not fill a prescription, forgo other medical treatments or tests, cut back on groceries, or get a second job.”

  • In July 2018, Raleigh had the 6th highest prescription drug costs of any city in the country despite having a relatively low cost of living.

  • Despite substantial federally-funded research involved in almost every new drug, there are “essentially no regulations governing how drugs are priced.”

  • In the five months since the first coronavirus case was detected, drug companies raised prices on nearly 250 drugs. According to Patients for Affordable Drugs, 75 percent of prescription drug cost increases at the beginning of 2020 “directly pertain to COVID-19.” 

“Every day, hardworking North Carolinians face an impossible choice – having to decide between paying for medicine they need or basic necessities like food and housing,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director, Casey Wilkinson. “We need Senators Tillis and Burr to get back to work immediately to ensure that North Carolinians can get the medicine they need when they need it most.”

Read the full report.


Jessica Coscia



About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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