Are you befuddled by the cost of prescription drugs? There may be a legitimate reason.
"It's certainly not an efficient market," Jason Doctor, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and health economics at USC, said about prescription drug prices. "If it was, you would see only one price for each drug at drugstores, and you don't."
Worse, folks believe that prices for many drugs, both name-brand and generic, keep going up.
According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, one-third of patients said the cost of their usual prescription rose $39 on average over the last year. One in 10 said they're now paying at least $100 more than they did a year ago.
Among the drugs that saw the biggest jumps in prices were treatments for common ailments such as asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes.
I asked about a dozen experts whether the drug market was rigged against consumers. The answer, surprisingly, was no. But they said there were steps that could be taken to improve things.
"I think everyone would agree that the price of many branded drugs is way too high," said Mahmud Hassan, a healthcare economist at Rutgers Business School. "But we still have the cheapest generic drugs in the world."