Dear Secretary Price,
The state of Louisiana has a serious problem paying for pricey hepatitis C medicines, and as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, you can do something to help.
A federal law gives you the ammunition to make it possible for the state to treat, and quite possibly cure, thousands of infected low-income people without busting its budget. To take action would require gumption, because it would involve involuntarily licensing patents, which is certain to rile the pharmaceutical industry.
Agree with Rob.
On the other hand, I could ask: isn’t your health worth a fully loaded pricey pickup truck, with which you are not actually towing or transporting anything? Or, a 700 bhp muscle car to blast at 70 mph down the freeway?
People, should get their priorities straight, first.
I’m not convinced that it takes all that much “guts” (courage) to change the situation on the cost of medication. What it takes is inclination — a willingness — even an interest. But President Trump comes from the same billionaire class that profits so nicely from the current drug prices. Is Trump interested in cutting friends’ incomes? Hardly.
Before the “guts” for change comes the inclination, the willingness. That’s is what’s really missing.
You need to overhaul your whole system, your lobbyists hold the whole world to ransom. The immediate solution to this problem already exists: buyers clubs of generic hep C medication, is what saved my life when I had that gun to my head. Mail order life saving. Is legal, and a direct action we can take, run by humanitarians. I don’t work for anyone but you can look me up, or look up fixhepc- please share this is so important, and an American dies every 25 mins because of the price, who could be cured.
When I read the following I felt like I fell down the rabbit hole: “When the government subsidizes drug prices for SOME people, the drug companies see an increased demand for their drugs at these artificially high prices. This keeps prices high and pushes them higher…for ALL buyers.”
What’s overlooked is that the drug companies start the chain reaction by setting prices so high in the first place.
Drug pricing is not transparent – that needs to be fixed. Meanwhile, predation is like pornography – we know it when we see it. The price of these Hep C drugs is impossible to justify. Health economists have invented woo metrics like QALY (quality adjusted life years) that drug firms use to justify these excessive prices. Better to base price on actual costs of production, which can include R&D leading up to the drug. But then over time prices should fall, just as for other innovations like computers. In the drugs business, however, prices keep rising, and that is predatory.
That’s not how the world works! The price of the output (final product) is never based on the price of the input (cost of production)…except in fantasyland.
The REAL cause of high drug prices are subsidies provided by the government. These subsidies don’t go to patients. They go to drug manufacturers – through no fault of the drug companies themselves (If someone offered you $10000 for your used car instead of $500, which would you take? Drug companies are no different).
When the government subsidizes drug prices for SOME people, the drug companies see an increased demand for their drugs at these artificially high prices. This keeps prices high and pushes them higher…for ALL buyers.
Better to give poor people cash and let them decide what they want to buy with their cash. When we direct the poor people’s cash to pharmaceuticals, drug prices are guaranteed to rise. It’s the fault of well meaning politicians – and their constituents – who are ignorant regarding economics and how the world works.
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