The centerpiece of Greg Mankiw’s column in the New York Times is this paragraph about the little white pill he takes every day:

Not long ago, I read that a physician estimated that statins cost $150,000 for each year of life saved. That approximate figure reflects not only the dollars patients and insurance companies spend on the treatment but also — and just as important — an estimate of how effective it is in prolonging life. (That number is for men. Women have a lower risk of heart disease.)

Mankiw used the word cost but I would be that what he is referring to is price. With monopolized drugs and dysfunctional health care insurance there is a huge difference between price and cost.  And with this in mind, Mankiw’s column completely misses the real economic problem exemplified by his pills.