It's no secret that healthcare is a huge expenditure for consumers all over the world. Prescription medications contribute to a large percentage of healthcare costs. However, Americans, by far, pay the highest costs for prescription medications in the world. U.S. consumers pay upwards of 50-100% more on medications compared to any other country. The majority of American consumers aren't aware of why their medication costs are so high. The answer lies within the extensive research and development needed to send a drug to market.

The cost of developing a new drug ranges between $4 and $11 billion dollars. Expensive stuff, that R&D. Because of these high costs, Americans spend, on average, $983 per year on prescription drugs. However, research and development expenses are directly attributed to the creation of a new drug. In 2012 alone, 15 new drugs were approved and noted for their significant contributions to health and quality of life of patients. These drugs helped aid in the fight against prostate cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis and leukemia, just to name a few. Additionally, these drugs helped reduce the cost of other healthcare services.

An infographic available from Clarity Way takes a deeper look at the pharmaceutical industry and the innovative drugs we pay a high price for.

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