With more than a dozen states and Washington, D.C., poised to enact laws to legalize medical marijuana, patients are starting to ask how much prescription drugs are being spent on opioid treatment.
The average cost of opioid prescriptions in the U.S. is about $1,000 per patient, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of State Boards of Pharmacy.
While that’s a considerable sum, it’s still a fraction of the $50 billion that prescription drug companies spend each year on marketing and other costs, the group found.
The report, which was based on surveys of more than 8,000 pharmacists and doctors, was sponsored by the American Medical Association and released to coincide with the release of a report by the Congressional Budget Office.
It said the average cost for a patient to receive a prescription of a narcotic drug is more than $100,000 and that about 1.4 million Americans have taken the drug in the past year.
The costs are likely to continue to grow as opioid addiction rates rise and the supply of the drugs becomes more scarce, the report said.
The cost of the pills and other drugs used to treat pain is often a bigger concern to lawmakers and advocates for patients, who often cite the cost of prescription drugs when talking about the opioid crisis.
Some lawmakers have called for more spending on the painkillers to treat the pain and improve the quality of life.
But the pharmaceutical industry has fought back, saying that prescription painkillers can’t be a cure for addiction, that they’re more likely to cause complications for patients than help, and that they can increase the risk of overdose and addiction.
Many opioid companies have also come out against the report, saying it paints an inaccurate picture of the cost for their drugs.
They point out that there are millions of Americans who are not addicted to opioids and have never had a prescription for one.
The drug companies argue that their drugs have not caused an epidemic of addiction and say the price tag is grossly overstated.
They also say that the report makes claims that are not supported by the evidence.
The AP analyzed data from the Medicare Drug Benefit Program, which is administered by the government and paid for by Medicare.
It showed that the average annual cost of prescriptions for opioids in 2013 was $13,000, and for a total of more 1.5 million patients in the country, there was an average of about $2,000 a year in prescription drug costs.
The authors said there was no difference in average prices between people in New York and New Jersey, where New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo has declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic.
The price of a bottle of Vicodin, which can cost $400, is $4,600 in New Jersey and $2 in New Yorkers.
For a 30-day supply of OxyContin, which costs $80, the average price was $4.47 in New Jersy and $3.21 in New Yorks.
For the entire country, the authors calculated that the costs were $2.2 trillion, or about $70,000 for every person in the United States.
A spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents drug companies, did not respond to requests for comment.
A report last year by the Department of Health and Human Services found that the cost per prescription rose from $1.05 in 2005 to $1 in 2014, according the AP.
The average price of Oxycontin rose from about $100 in 2005, when the drug was first introduced, to $160 last year.