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Harvard Study Reveals Drug Prices are High in U.S. Because Government Grants Monopoly to Big Pharma

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posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: PhoenixOD
There is one missing varible to your equation , 'Time'. So maybe that drug that costs $1000 per person is actually per month. Then the cost $1000 cost would be divided by 12 and now its only just over $80. But lets not stop there, how about the number of years they have a patent on the drug? Someone mentioned 17 years and now the cost to recoup is only $5 and thats not even adding on increase in the world population each year that might need the drug.


Edumukated was keeping the numbers simple. What actually happens is that a disease will have 10,000 cases per year worldwide, and 1000 of those are in the US. Everyone gets treatment but 9000 cases are using generics, the remaining 1000 have to cover the costs of everyone else.

The US population simply isn't big enough to absorb these costs. Lets look at it this way. Say a drug costs $2 billion to develop and there's 10000 cases per year, 1000 of those are in the US. Lets also say you get a typical 7 year patent.

That means you're treating 7000 cases. 2 billion/7000 means $285,000 per treatment. Then, lets say it's a 2 pill/day 30 day treatment. That's 60 pills, $4762 per pill.

That is why things are expensive. We are developing drugs for illnesses that have a low number of cases per year, and the number of people who can buy the medication is further limited to just US citizens. The rest of the world simply copies the discoveries and reproduces them without any of the R&D cost.




posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 01:51 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: dreamingawake

A monopoly is part of it, but the issue goes a bit deeper than that. The average drug costs billions to bring to market, and in order to recoup that investment the company needs a patent for it. The problem is that most patents are only recognized by that nation. Other countries take our advances, reproduce them, and sell as generics. This leaves a medicine that's used world wide to recoup the investment entirely from the US.


International licenses would be more fair however other countries should be irrelevant. They might as well not exist at all, they shouldn't be counted as a potential market because they are not. The inventor should get more credit I agree because this makes sense. The inventor might create more medicine in line with the amount of funding or the person might just decide to retire early - it is a free country.

Then there is the problem of proof, how to prove technology or knowledge has been stolen instead of someone inventing it also. We would need worldpeace to have relations with countries to allow for thorough inspection.

Talking about stolen knowledge, Greece wants royalties for their ideas like the atoms. We're all using it, they had R&D costs etc. and now they're not getting a dime. Or well at least they do get money from EU countries but not for that and they are supposed to pay it back someday somehow.



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: whismermill

I don't disagree, but the reality that there exists vast differences of the prices of the same drug between the U.S. and other countries definitely adds to it.

How The US Subsidizes Cheap Drugs For Europe



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: PhoenixOD
There is one missing varible to your equation , 'Time'. So maybe that drug that costs $1000 per person is actually per month. Then the cost $1000 cost would be divided by 12 and now its only just over $80. But lets not stop there, how about the number of years they have a patent on the drug? Someone mentioned 17 years and now the cost to recoup is only $5 and thats not even adding on increase in the world population each year that might need the drug.


Edumukated was keeping the numbers simple. What actually happens is that a disease will have 10,000 cases per year worldwide, and 1000 of those are in the US. Everyone gets treatment but 9000 cases are using generics, the remaining 1000 have to cover the costs of everyone else.

The US population simply isn't big enough to absorb these costs. Lets look at it this way. Say a drug costs $2 billion to develop and there's 10000 cases per year, 1000 of those are in the US. Lets also say you get a typical 7 year patent.

That means you're treating 7000 cases. 2 billion/7000 means $285,000 per treatment. Then, lets say it's a 2 pill/day 30 day treatment. That's 60 pills, $4762 per pill.

That is why things are expensive. We are developing drugs for illnesses that have a low number of cases per year, and the number of people who can buy the medication is further limited to just US citizens. The rest of the world simply copies the discoveries and reproduces them without any of the R&D cost.


Yes, I was trying to keep things simple. I knew someone would bring up some fact about time or population numbers. You did a great job explaining what I was attempting to get across that the US subsidizes those who don't pay.



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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a reply to: dreamingawake

It's ridiculous the difference in price what Americans pay and Canadians (along with many other nations) pay for the same pharmaceuticals. For instance, my friend paid $15 dispensing fee for his daughter's TWO EpiPens and the rest (actual cost of $100/each) was covered by the Canadian Ministry of Health.

'Regulations protect Canadians from EpiPen price hikes affecting U.S.':

www.metronews.ca...


"The regulatory pricing system here is different than in the U.S., and so we have not seen huge increases for the device year over year," Laurie Harada, the organization's executive director, said of the EpiPen.


Here in Canada, it is illegal for drug companies to run commercial advertisements for prescription medication. Watching CNN, and US major news networks, I was shocked that every other commercial seems to be an advertisement for a prescription drug - "Ask your doctor if XYZ might be for you". Those commercials and the frequency it is shown may seem normal to Americans due to always being that way, but it stands out like a sore thumb and being very strange to the rest of us.

The pharmaceutical industry is big business in the States. This is why regulation and universal healthcare is not welcome by the government and drug company lobbyist.



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

Monopoly is one facet, high cost of insurance another.

They charge hi prices because Insurance only pays a portion of the asking price, so they charge ridiculous prices to get a little more. People without insurance can't afford it, are the ones eating the huge costs.


True, but Obamacare added an extra layer of brokers to take their cut out of our health care insurance dollars. Ours has nearly doubled in the last 2 years and raised the deductible by 500%. What a deal!

I'm just so grateful that everyone who is here illegally can receive free healthcare that's already paid for!
[sarcasm off]



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 03:58 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

You got that second part right. I'm in the poor house. People living there don't get teeth 'fixed' they get them pulled. Since Obama care I've had to pay through the nose to have two of them removed. Before Obamacare it was 5.00.



posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

Well, seeing how some of the companies go back into the off label use relabeling it for that use, then re-patenting and re marketing also causes them to have an excuse to mark the same drug back up in some cases 300-400% although it has already been through the trials and development... the law suit waged against the one young fellow not long ago that slips my mind is a case of this...

The epipen was recently inflated in the same manner that was just in the news not long ago.

There is a current open lobby in campaign finances of those running for office against cannabis in states wanting to legalize, because of the major decrease in opioid based medicines striking their bottom lines... of course studies have shown that addiction rates and deaths associated with opiods have been in steady decline in those states that have made it medicinally legal and or recreationally legal...

So it is a clear indicator of the profiteering despite the cause of human misery, that arises in the populations where it is both legal and illegal in order to hold those markets hostage using political influence to do it in the scheme of corruption in order to secure profits... despite the obvious benefit to public health; less addiction and death and public safety; less gangs means less black market, and less addicts trying to get heroin etc as a replacement to these opiods.

So it's obvious that the pharma industry from those studies in states where it isn't legal are only trying to protect their profit on human misery through corruption and power and influence when it has shown human and social relief on the whole.

Buying our representatives, robs our voice and it is clear in these studies and cases that allowing such has been a detriment to public health and safety and has been for a very long time, to the point where they only see benefit of public health and safety as a detriment to their bottom line.

That is not a common sense policy but a profit driven one that actually has become a danger and a harm to society locally, federally, and to the entire world itself in it's influence for sheer profit instead of simply wishing to alleviate human suffering and misery to actually propagating it and using political influence garnered from that profit to continue it.

Deplorable.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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There's some other things to take into consideration-

Medicare is unable to negotiate prices for drugs, by law. But private pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, etc. can.
You see in the graphs the list price.
But consider-


"The entire health-care system in the United States is more expensive than other countries," said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group. "The difference in prices here in the U.S. compared to other countries is often vastly overstated," because comparisons don’t include all the discounts drugmakers give to various payers.

It's true: insurers and pharmacy benefit managers often obtain significant discounts on drugs' list prices. Sometimes the discounts can be 50 percent or more.


Source

Not only did my husband work in pharma, but I have a cousin who is a rep for a big pharmaceutical company in the US.
They give rebates and discounts everywhere- to pharmacies, hospitals, doctors.... this high list price gives them a lot fo room for that and makes it seem even more attractive when offered!
They also are still giving out samples (another practice illegal in other countries, that adds to costs).



In the U.S., drug companies set their own prices and raise them over time. One of the biggest U.S. buyers of medicine, Medicare, is prohibited from negotiating prices directly with drug companies. Private insurers and benefit managers strike their own rebate deals with drug companies, and details of these contracts are almost never disclosed.
(same source as above)

But in the end, it is the consumer that still pays more out of pocket than any other country. As does Medicare. The private companies all involved in the process of getting them to the consumer all reap a profit along the way- and you pay for that. (and you pay for Medicare). That is a result of us valuing private profit based entities.



“Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize the value” of the products that Valeant sells, said Laurie Little, a company spokeswoman(for Valeant Pharmaceuticals). “Sometimes pricing comes into it, sometimes volume comes into it.”

Source


I hear the cries often that it is the prices of R&B- and yet that doesn't convince me. Because of all these other costs added with advertising, gifts and bribes, samples... and knowing intimately the life of pharmacy reps. They are salespeople, for christs sake! They often have a higher income than the doctors they talk to. It was often a point of embarrassment for my husband (and part of why he got out, it seemed wrong).
The American people are so quick to feel sympathy for the poor companies and investors, to their own detriment, and despite all signs that they aren't all that poor....

I always feel a bit confused by the claims of what the market will bear, when individuals tell you that they refuse to get treatment when sick, because they can't afford it... they try to self medicate and heal at home instead, I wonder, is that evidence of the market bearing efficiently?



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 01:45 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

My general practitioner bans drug reps from his office before the ban he made them wait all the way til the end of the day... so it would not interrupt patient scheduling... the reps made a stink about it so he just outright banned them saying patient care comes first.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 02:06 AM
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originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
a reply to: Bluesma

My general practitioner bans drug reps from his office before the ban he made them wait all the way til the end of the day... so it would not interrupt patient scheduling... the reps made a stink about it so he just outright banned them saying patient care comes first.


Well, the problem is that the docs do need to keep up on new drugs and development... they do need to learn about the drugs available, and how to prescribe them, and when not to, and with what.
The industry evolves fast- no doctor can afford to stick with the knowledge he gained in med school. It isn't good for the patients health. It can even be dangerous.

For a while, my husbands biggest mission was to try to convince doctors to stop prescribing his medicine for weight loss. It was not made for that, and doing so was dangerous. Giving it to people who did not have diabetes life threatening, and to make thigns worse, they did so with things like diuretics, which increased the danger!

The doctors saw it worked though and continued to do so. Finally the company just stopped producing the drug altogether, because doctors refused to listen and they knew it meant long term danger.

Ten years later they are in a huge law suit because thousands who took it for weight loss ended up with serious health problems and many died.

Of course we can call the drug company evil, call the reps evil and blame them (which is what happened). The media claimed reps pushed this off label usage- when that is false. The company had a (last ditch effort) contest for a while, giving a big bonus to whoever could get the sales in their area DOWN.
But the pharm company could not publicly defend themselves because the doctors saying that to protect their own ass were still their customers. "The customer is always right", even when they are not.

Having drug reps is not bad, it is a necessary thing. It is the system that is twisted. They shouldn't be making so much money. My husband wanted to feel that he had a beneficial role in society; he has a social conscience. So he was able to step out when it was clear that isn't the case. But so many people got caught up in the money and forgot their job was to heal people!
The women became obsessed with expensive shoes and handbags, instead of sick people.


I don't know, the lesson I pulled from all that was that - even though I like capitalism, and I think profit is good, I think some areas of life, like the necessities of survival, should be apart from that market. They shouldn't be sent down the river into profiteering. Despite the claims that only the US is developing new drugs, other countries are innovating just as much, some even more, and even when their medical system is a universal non-profit type.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 02:08 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

He goes by the tried and true... he'd rather not have his patients as beta testers for in clinical trails... any place calling itself a "clinic" does just that he legally told them to scat because he has a practice not a clinic.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 03:23 AM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

I have been denied insurance through Obamacare 3 different times now. As for the fallacy they cover preexisting conditions. What they fail to mention is preexisting conditions are only covered if you are employed and have insurance that is covering it. If you leave your job / lose your job you have 60 days to find employment and if they offer insurance then that new insurance is required to continue coverage.

If its outside that time frame they can deny coverage for a preexisting condition.

Also the insurance conglomerates that made up the core of insurance plans for obamacare is now down to 6.

Expect rates to continue to climb as competition goes away.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 05:07 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Do you have a source link for those numbers?



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 06:22 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

Consumers are also being punished in paying for the advertising as well as the money lobbyists take to give to their puppet politicians.

I would say it is not government controlled health care but privatized health care using the government to force us to pay up.

How much would the consumers save if we got rid of this and advertising costs.

www.opensecrets.org...

Top Lobbying Industries

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $3,146,090,212
Insurance $2,190,651,832



Also, is it not true that a lot of the R&D is done by University Students and Big Pharma swoops in to capitalize off it after all the hard work has been done?

Look at all the drugs that have been in use for a long time, and they make a slight change such as in the delivery system and repatent it - cha ching



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 07:53 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Trust me, I get the issues of Big Pharma...and Big Government, like how they hold a patent on the medical use of cannabis oil, yet just maintained it as a Schedule I substance that has no medicinal value.

You're speaking to the choir--all my point concerns is that there are also other variables other than Big-Pharma greed that make us pay more here in the U.S.

I have medicines, and I avoid taking them a lot (other than Excedrin and the like)--I didn't even use the pain pills given to me after my vasectomy, instead opting for continued use of frozen peas and just dealing with the feeling that someone was continuously pinching my right nut in a vise for about three days straight. That was fun.

Anyhoo, I agree with you about the greed and corruption, that's just not the point that I was trying to discuss.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 08:02 AM
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originally posted by: jacobe001
a reply to: SlapMonkey

Consumers are also being punished in paying for the advertising as well as the money lobbyists take to give to their puppet politicians.


Well, to be fair, that's ANY product that advertises--without the consumer's money, there'd be no money for advertising or production of the product.

I would, however, like to see a ban on commercials for prescription medication, like the government did for cigarettes. There is absolutely ZERO need to advertise products that only doctors can prescribe--they're just trying to brainwash the public into thinking that it's something that they need.


Also, is it not true that a lot of the R&D is done by University Students and Big Pharma swoops in to capitalize off it after all the hard work has been done?


I can't verify or deny that, but I do know that the Pharma industry spends about $800k-$1.2b on the R&D of each new drug that hits the market, so if they are taking over student R&D and continuing and finishing it up, I would think that this is a good thing, as it saves dollars overall, and puts a notch in a student's belt that they helped create something that could save lives--I'm thinking that would be a nice bullet point on a resume.


Look at all the drugs that have been in use for a long time, and they make a slight change such as in the delivery system and repatent it - cha ching


I'm not sure that it works that way--in that instance, they wouldn't be re-patenting the drug, just the delivery system, from what I understand about patent laws. I could be absolutely wrong, though. (and keep in mind that, often times, it's the FDA mandating new delivery systems, like for my asthma inhalers that I use, that now have to have a counter to indicate how many doses of the medicine is left built into the inhaler body--that obviously increases the cost of the medicine overall)



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 08:16 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

My apologies for missing what the point was... if it was about lowering the cost then well getting rid of the greed and corruption would decrease that cost tremendously.

edit: ok went back and read it... yes the patent medicine part does hold people in hostage due to the amount of time before generics can become available as a legal monopoly I have touched on that as an issue before a few times. Where holding such a monopoly for such a very long time can mean life or death where the costs become an issue... one of my friends mentioned this occurring with healthcare in the UK, where the medical there attempting to cut costs started removing some medicines altogether and swapping them out for others... causing several people to commit suicide because the medicine was basically the equivalent to straight off the shelf pain medicine that did nothing to alleviate their pain or severe muscle spasms and they felt death would be easier to deal with than the constant pain...

A very sad reality when profit is more valuable than human lives and in order to cut those costs? People are left suffering enough to take their own lives aside from those not being able to afford it and die from that...

That's why it's a huge problem when medicine is used as a tool for profiting off of human misery and not the agent to remove it as intended... meaning hey if you can afford it... instead of being a basic human right.
edit on 14-9-2016 by BigBrotherDarkness because: sp.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 08:49 AM
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originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
a reply to: Bluesma

He goes by the tried and true... he'd rather not have his patients as beta testers for in clinical trails... any place calling itself a "clinic" does just that he legally told them to scat because he has a practice not a clinic.


Fair enough! Though he never has to agree to do such things.
The only thing I would say is - he might find some patients ask for and want newer medicines. Especially in the US where the culture tends to value technological progress and allows advertising for medicine!

If he doesn't prescribe them, he might lose clients. If he choses to prescribe them, I sure hope he agrees to at least learn a bit about them first. Like I said, it can be dangerous not to. Personally I would not go to a doctor that refuses to learn in depth about the medicines he prescribes.



posted on Sep, 14 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

originally posted by: BigBrotherDarkness
a reply to: Bluesma

My general practitioner bans drug reps from his office before the ban he made them wait all the way til the end of the day... so it would not interrupt patient scheduling... the reps made a stink about it so he just outright banned them saying patient care comes first.


Well, the problem is that the docs do need to keep up on new drugs and development... they do need to learn about the drugs available, and how to prescribe them, and when not to, and with what.
The industry evolves fast- no doctor can afford to stick with the knowledge he gained in med school. It isn't good for the patients health. It can even be dangerous.

For a while, my husbands biggest mission was to try to convince doctors to stop prescribing his medicine for weight loss. It was not made for that, and doing so was dangerous. Giving it to people who did not have diabetes life threatening, and to make thigns worse, they did so with things like diuretics, which increased the danger!

The doctors saw it worked though and continued to do so. Finally the company just stopped producing the drug altogether, because doctors refused to listen and they knew it meant long term danger.

Ten years later they are in a huge law suit because thousands who took it for weight loss ended up with serious health problems and many died.

Of course we can call the drug company evil, call the reps evil and blame them (which is what happened). The media claimed reps pushed this off label usage- when that is false. The company had a (last ditch effort) contest for a while, giving a big bonus to whoever could get the sales in their area DOWN.
But the pharm company could not publicly defend themselves because the doctors saying that to protect their own ass were still their customers. "The customer is always right", even when they are not.

Having drug reps is not bad, it is a necessary thing. It is the system that is twisted. They shouldn't be making so much money. My husband wanted to feel that he had a beneficial role in society; he has a social conscience. So he was able to step out when it was clear that isn't the case. But so many people got caught up in the money and forgot their job was to heal people!
The women became obsessed with expensive shoes and handbags, instead of sick people.


I don't know, the lesson I pulled from all that was that - even though I like capitalism, and I think profit is good, I think some areas of life, like the necessities of survival, should be apart from that market. They shouldn't be sent down the river into profiteering. Despite the claims that only the US is developing new drugs, other countries are innovating just as much, some even more, and even when their medical system is a universal non-profit type.


Sales people often make more than other professions because you generate more profits. I work in sales and and I make more than many of my clients who are doctors, attorneys, etc. In fact, Doctors while well compensated on average, do not make as much as many other professions. Some of the sales guys in my company make more than the CEO of our company.

There are some significant structural issues with healthcare delivery from insurance, to litigation, to pharma companies, etc. The entire industry has been perverted and largely because of too much government intervention imho.

The current situation didn't happen over night.



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