Drug Prices in the United States
Pharmaceuticals are again making the news. Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals is once more in the news. That is the gentleman who increased the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5000% or from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 per pill. To improve his image he has cut the price by 50% to hospitals. Following his appearance in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Hearing he allegedly tweeted it was hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people of our government.
I think when you look at something like this more closely after you are past the disdain and hatred most people using Daraprim have for this man, you can see how this can happen.
After all he is not doing anything outside the law. He is trying his best to make a living. Making hundreds of millions of dollars off some of our most vulnerable citizens must be OK with congress being they are ultimately the ones who allow this to happen.
Perhaps our government leaders feel if they throw enough heat at Mr. Shkreli we will all forget that they are the ones responsible for the laws that allow Mr. Shkreli to do this. In 2003, Congress and President Bush enacted the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act,” which established a prescription drug program for Medicare. That legislation expressly prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Wouldn’t you love to have something everybody needs and you can charge whatever you want? Why don’t they just charge us what they will sell their compassion and morality for?
According to a report by House Democrats the United States is exclusive among industrialized countries because it is the only country that fails to protect its citizens from discriminatory drug pricing. Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom all negotiate on behalf of their citizens to obtain lower prices for brand name drugs. As a result, purchasers in these countries pay significantly less for prescription drugs than uninsured senior citizens in the United States.
Drug companies counter this by saying they need the additional money to pay for R & D or research and development. However the American NIH pays hundreds of millions for drug companies to do research and development. Our big Pharma companies never tell us this do they? You draw your own conclusions. There will be more to follow.