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Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...

December 6th, 2007

(no subject) @ 02:04 pm

Current Location: 30062
Current Music: "Bad Kat Karma", Steve Raybine

No one really wants to hear what I have to say, so just read the article.

Big Pharma Faces Grim Prognosis
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Date:December 7th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
I see this from two sides - one as a consumer who spends close to 200 dollars a month on required medications. And THAT is with a prescription plan! Why? Because 99 percent of my drugs are not available as generics. The thought that drug prices will come down makes me very happy! The big drug companies get rich off of the US consumer because they know they can. They know we will pay - even if we grumble as we do it - whatever they want so we can get our medication. We are a captive audience and they would like to keep us like that. I don't mind them making a profit - hell! We all want to make a profit - but when does it become a profit and when does it become just more money?

The other side I see is the research side. My cousin is a PhD in pharmacology research. I know how long it took him to get that degree, how damn hard he worked and how much it cost. The boy graduated with honors and has developed several anti-nausea drugs for cancer patients - one of which is for children. I know how much work goes into developing those drugs - the time each person puts in. Should they be compensated for all that hard work? You bet your sweet ass they should! I know that I could never, ever do what my cousin does in a million years! Nor would I want to - he has been known to test his own drugs as they go through development. There is a scary thought!

What I would like to see - as the aunt of a person with a very rare disease - is for the drug companies to expend a little more effort into "orphan drugs". If they are gonna have all this profit, start spending it on the folks who will happily pay for the drug to treat their disease. Stop giving them expensive "band-aids" and give them expensive fixatives!

Okay ... enough of my ranting!

What about yours?
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Date:December 7th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
That prescription drug prices are a response to the business realities of the pharmaceutical business. It's not a bunch of evil fatcats looking to get wealthy off of sick people; it's businesspeople recognizing that they have to support the research chemists that work hard to develop the drugs that make our lives better. Much of that work that research chemists do is complying with and kowtowing to the regulations of the bureaucrats at the FDA, which, like Social Security and the National Labor Relations Act, is a relic of the New Deal. Much pain and suffering could be avoided by streamlining the drug approval process or eliminating it entirely, replacing it with private organizations like Underwriters Laboratories, who do a better job (look at the number of recalls there have been of drugs that had been approved by the FDA! And remember, high-priced shysters don't drag the government into court when that happens). A shorter time to market would be less costly, and the savings would flow to the consumer.

Also, remember that the government collects millions in direct and indirect taxes from the pharma companies. These are costs that are passed along to the consumer. So are the hefty dividends that are paid to shareholders, many of whom are retirement funds, many more are senior citizens. These are two groups that rely on those dividends to live. Ironic that the group that complains the most about drug company profits is also the one group that benefits the most from them.

Third, those high profits are intended to tide the company over during times when they don't have a new product to sell. That way, they don't have to lay people off, creating another problem.

These are realities that people don't consider when they complain about the price of prescription meds. And, believe me, I spend enough on them, too, even for generics and even with drug coverage. (And think abut it: If all you pay for a prescription drug is $25, who cares how much they charge, right?) Getting the government off their backs and out of their pockets, and letting them go back to their real business instead of being bean counters and paper pushers for Congress, would enliven the industry. Orphan drugs would be adopted, and companies could focus on developing drugs rather than on making money.

Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...