the thing that bothers me with this story is that you have a disconnect between government funded healthcare, and profit seeking private corporations.
if you have a government entity such as medicare (or really any socialized institution), that essentially guarantees payment to a drug company for a treatment; coupled with a corporation which has a responsibility to shareholders to maximize profit.. The situation that arises absolutely incentivizes the company to charge as much as they can get away with, since after all the US gov't has essentially infinitely deep pockets. And a very similar situation arises with the military and higher education.
And the shitty thing is, any attempt by the government to reign in profit margins and/or maximum price on a drug company would be met with the usual right winger response of "less regulation, free market!" (And this is coming from a republican.. I just don't get mental gymnastics on this level.)
Oh, it's a LOT worse than you think it is:
(Note that, while the above is a Mother Jones article on the subject, there are plenty of business pubication and c onservative-leaning websites that will tell you exactly the same thing.)
In a nutshelll - for those of you who won't read the linked article - the Medicare Modernization Act, signed into law by George W. Bush on December 3, 2003, FORBIDS the Social Security Administration from negotiating drub discounts with pharmaceutical companies, despite the fact that Medicare/Medicaid (which are run by the SSA) is THE largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the world. That prohibition was added to the bill in order to persuade Congressmembers to vote for it (because pharmas donate lavishly to their re-election funds). So there's absolutely zero inducement in U.S. law to keep prices low - and every incentive to raise them to the stratosphere, so that the for-profit medical insurance companies can be offered significant discounts, with good, old Uncle Sucker taking up the profitability slack.
Read the actual bill for yourself and be appalled: