Yeah, that is what has been keeping the lid on drug costs over the past 10 years - all those "less costly treatments" that the pharmaceutical industry has created. There are no free markets in the healthcare system - the drug companies get to charge as much as they want and the largest customer (the govt) has no ability to negotiate lower prices. Patent protection is important, but lets not pretend you are defending a free market system.
You are a putz! Do you think a statin drug for instance is cheaper than a heart bypass? Do you think the insurance companies would pay for new treatments that cost more than existing treatments?
There are expensive treatments now that didn't exist and life expectancy is at an all time high as a result. We pay more for drugs because they're solving medical problems they couldn't before and because we have more aging citizens than ever.
If you think the breakthrough treatment fairy will keep dropping life saving treatments on you without concern for the billion dollar plus development cost you are surely too dumb to keep your money long.
"Do you think the insurance companies would pay for new treatments that cost more than existing treatments"? Of course they would and they do - that is the reason premium rates have skyrocketed - the cost of new treatments. Every new cancer drug that comes out has a price tag of $10,000 plus per dose. I'm not saying that is the wrong price, but say Medicare is currently paying a company $10,000 per dose for 100,000 patients ($1B) and due to our aging population that five years from now the number of patients could be 500,000 - shouldn't the govt have the right to negotiate a more reasonable cost per dose? Right now they don't and we (us taxpayers) pay 2-3 times what every other nation pays for the same drugs. If you believe this is a rational system based on free market economics, you are the putz!