WASHINGTON — One’s a college dropout. One’s a self-proclaimed street fighter. And one survived a presidential tweetstorm.
Meet pharma’s new Gang of Seven, a disparate group of executives about to face congressional questions on what they have in common: Their companies sell drugs, and drugs keep getting more expensive.
Americans pay four to 10 times more for prescription drugs than what citizens of other developed countries pay. It’s true that drug prices must be high enough to pay for research and development, but there is no reason that only American consumers should bear that cost. We effectively subsidize the generous national health systems of Canada and other western countries by allowing them to get away with paying much lower prices that don’t reflect the much greater R&D costs of the drugs they use.
In short, not only do western countries, like the NATO alliance, not pay their fair share of their own defense costs, but they don’t even pay their own health care costs. That cost is paid for indirectly by the U.S. government through Medicare and Medicaid as well as the American consumer and their employers.
The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson antitrust acts should be used to criminally prosecute these executives for price gouging. But they won’t. Like the NY banksters, these executives will be excoriated in public and embraced in private. Go to open secrets.org and see the campaign contributions made.
Problem is our mutually subsidized system. No one knows the costs. Cost of generics can be reverse calculated. Just for example:
Cost of active= $10.00 per kilo. One kilo will make 5,000 tablets of 200 mg pill. That is about 0.2 cents per pill. If we add active manufacturer’s profit, formulation cost, formulator’s profit, distributor’s and pharmacy profit to be 20 times the cost of active, the selling price would be about 4 cents per pill. Guess what we cannot buy any prescription drug at that price unless we are part of a healthcare system. If we take the distributor out my guess is the selling price will drop to about ONE cent per pill.
We have a mis-concept that we subsidize others. We don’t. Selling price of HCV
drug in US is $1000.00 per tablet. Gilead sells the same drug in developing countries for about $5-10.00 per pill. Manufacturing cost of the same pill is less than $0.25 per pill.
Bottomline what we are willing to pay. If we did not have mutually subsidized system and we paid from our pockets, we all will think before we buy and guess what the prices will plummet faster than a falling rocket.
We created the monster and got used to it. Now it is difficult to live without it and blame others for our high prices.
Comments are closed.