The US holds the unfortunate distinction of spending more per capita on health care than any other developed country. The disproportionate amount we spend on health care has a direct impact on patients and their families, who have to carry the burden of paying for health care more than ever. It’s not uncommon for patients go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills, crowdsource their medical costs, or avoid care because of the cost.
Staggering health care costs are also hurting Americans indirectly, by lowering real wages, limiting job growth, and crowding out spending on public services that could truly improve population health.
The Lown Institute addresses the micro and macro effects of high health care costs by facilitating research on this problem and providing regular blogs and headlines on the topic.
The “Shkreli Awards” is the Lown Institute’s top ten list of the worst examples of profiteering and dysfunction in health care, named for Martin Shkreli, the price-hiking “pharma bro” that everyone loves to hate.
These stories highlight the systemic nature of greed in health care, demonstrating what can happen in a system that puts profits over patients.