The price of prescription medications are appalling. I am sure drug companies do what all other manufacturers do in any area - they have product managers who do research and look at costs and what the market will bear and set the prices. I look at my prescriptions. Not all are available in generics. The generic ones are affordable. The brand name ones are astronomic.
I personally take six prescriptions daily with another three for as needed. Of them, four are available in brand name only. This means they are newer drugs for which a generic has not yet been developed. Their copays make me cringe. Never mind their full price.
I understand that it takes lots of development work to get one drug to market. Of hundreds that are worked on to one degree or another over years and years, a single drug final makes it through approval to market. The drug companies have to try to recoup some of the expenses for all the others which didn't make it.
The laws were changed a few years ago to prevent drug companies from paying doctors to prescribe their drugs - in anyway. No more freebies - which included everything from a ball point pen to a well padded savings account.
But then why are stories still surfacing of doctors being paid to prescribe or to put their name to ghost written articles to give credence to the drugs? A doctor should prescribe what is medically necessary only. By state law here, the pharmacy must fill a prescription with the generic where available unless the doctor writes in 'no substitution' - generics are close but not exact.
Finally, state AGs are suing drug companies over their huge profits. If they are making such hugs amounts of money that their annual reports show, this is money that belongs to the insurance companies and the patients who pay them. This belongs back to the people who are trying decide which bill to pay - the health insurance premium which is inflated due to high prescription costs, the prescriptions themselves, the mortgage, or the grocery bill.
As I babble away about clinical trials needing change, this is another area which bears a closer look.