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Profits and Pills: The Most Expensive Drugs Quiz
by Staff
Dramatic and sometimes overnight price increases on prescription medications reflect high costs of research and the benefits of new promising cures. How bad could it be? Test how much you know about the medicines that cost way more than others.

Which ex-pharmaceutical CEO raised the retail price of the anti-malarial Daraprim by 5,000 percent shortly after his company bought the drug?

  • Martin Shkreli
  • Sam Waksal
  • Michael Pearson

Of the 28 new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, how many were considered specialty products?

  • one
  • nine
  • 19
  • 28

What's the estimate of how much people in the U.S. will spend on specialty drugs by 2020?

  • about $400 million
  • about $400 billion
  • about $3.2 trillion

Who typically sets the sticker price for a new prescription medication?

  • consumers
  • drug manufacturers
  • health insurers

How many of the 12 new cancer-fighting drugs approved in 2012 retailed above $100,000 for a year's treatment?

  • one
  • two
  • 11
  • 12

How much does Soliris, the most expensive prescription drug in the U.S. in 2016, cost?

  • $40,000
  • $400,000
  • $4 million

How much was the price increase of the anti-rheumatic drug Cuprimine in 2015 alone?

  • a 10 percent increase
  • about double the price
  • more than a 400 percent increase

How much does a typical American retiree spend on a monthly refill of common prescription respiratory meds?

  • $39
  • $139
  • $391

Where would you fill a prescription for specialty drugs?

  • local retail pharmacy
  • hospital pharmacy
  • specialty pharmacy

How much higher is the price of cancer treatment in the U.S. compared to the U.K.?

  • twice as high
  • three times as high
  • There's no difference.

True or false: The typical 12-week treatment regimen of Sovaldi, which has shown a 90 percent hepatitis C cure rate, comes with a potential price tag of $84,000.

  • true
  • false

Which former pharmaceutical CEO convicted of fraud in April 2016 is also actor Vince Vaughn's stepfather?

  • Stephen Ferrone
  • Marc Hermelin
  • Chris Viehbacher

True or false: The average annual retail cost of specialty drug therapy was greater than American's median household income in 2013.

  • true
  • false

What's the average annual cost of prescription therapy using generics?

  • $283
  • $2,960
  • $53,384

How does the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) define "expensive" drugs?

  • drugs that retail for $60 per month
  • drugs that retail for $600 per month
  • drugs that retail for $1600 per month

What organization launched the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing?

  • AARP
  • America's Health Insurance Plans
  • National Coalition on Health Care

What is the estimated average cost of research and development for just one drug?

  • $2.6 million
  • $26 million
  • $2.6 billion

How much do drug manufacturers report they spend every year covering the cost of specialty drugs or copays for patients who can't afford treatment?

  • about $4 billion a year
  • about $14 billion a year
  • about $44 billion a year

True or false: Medicare doesn't allow drugmakers to offer financial help to those covered under the plan.

  • true
  • false

In 2013, of the 46 specialty drug categories, how many had an annual retail cost increase greater than the rate of general inflation (1.5 percent) in the U.S.?

  • all but one
  • all but four
  • all 46
  • none of the 46

How much was the average increase in retail prices for the 115 most commonly used specialty treatments in 2013?

  • about 1.6 percent
  • about 1.5 percent
  • about 10.6 percent
  • about 15 percent

True or false: Because hospitals pay wholesale prices for drugs, the retail price increases don't affect them.

  • true
  • false

How do insurers typically organize their prescription drug coverage?

  • by cost
  • by coinsurance rates
  • by deductible

Which of these specialty drugs used enzymes extracted from human placentas to prove its concept?

  • alglucerase (brand name Ceredase)
  • onabotulinumtoxinA (brand name Botox)
  • RHo(D) immune globulin (brand name RhoGAM)

Are all specialty drugs orphan drugs?

  • yes
  • no

How many U.S. adults skip doses or don't fill prescriptions because of high prices?

  • one in four
  • one in five
  • one in 12

Which category for specialty drugs had the biggest price increase in 2013?

  • anti-dementia
  • anti-diabetics
  • anti-neoplastics

How much is obeticholic acid, the first new drug in 50 years approved to treat a rare autoimmune disease that attacks the liver, projected to make between the time it hits the market in 2016 and 2020?

  • 3.8 billion
  • 2.8 billion
  • 1.8 billion

What's the gist of the "Big Pharma conspiracy"?

  • Drugmakers and the U.S. government are in cahoots about genetically modified organisms.
  • The Illuminati control the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Drugmakers don't release cures because it would hurt their bottom line.

What's it known as when drug companies continually increase the retail price of last year's (or older) drugs and decide new drug prices based on those adjustments?

  • skimming pricing
  • market spiral pricing
  • value-based pricing