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February 13, 2009

Prescription drug costs

I read George Will’s hand-wringing column about the imminent demise of Medicare (2/7, Opinion, “Obama willing, Congress weak on entitlements”). Maybe if our government were willing to curb corporate welfare for the prescription drug companies, we could save a few billion.

I was shocked to find that my Medicare Plan D cost for one of my prescriptions, for both my co-pay and Medicare, was $392 for a 90-day supply, and another was $265 for 90 days. I checked prices at a Canadian pharmacy and found their price was $110 for the former and $200 for the latter for the same product.

I have heard all the special pleading from pharmaceutical companies about the cost of research being high. But does this mean that the U.S. is footing the bill for it while other countries regulate prices? Maybe, but I think we have a case of what Will euphemizes as “political free speech”— i.e. bribery of Congress.

Drug companies enjoy a monopoly on patented prescription drugs. We should regulate their prices.

Carrol L. Fry
Maryville, Mo.

Comments

TinaMcG

I think the worst decision to impact American healthcare was the lift on the ban of drug company television advertising. Too many people see pharmaceuticals as magic bullets to be used in place of changes in lifestyle, diet and attitude. I'm not saying prescription drugs should not be used, but I do believe they should be a last resort. Americans take way too many prescription drugs.

Now here's a creepy twist. AmbienCR now has a commercial that mentions "prescribers" -- not doctors. What's next? Will they tell us to ask our drug dealers what Ambien can do for us?

Pub 17

Yeah, that socialized medicine sucks. They oughta close that government-run pesthole on Linwood down immediately.

BudRog

Oh those viscious drug companies, I say put them all out of business the eveel Bustards!

Uh, can I get that polio vacine, what about that flu shot....and you can treat the aids virus......oh damn, you greedy sobs.....

Yep let the government take 'em over, that'll them/us all right!

viet-vet1970

A couple of years ago the drug industry revealed that it employs NINE sales reps for every licensed doctor in the U.S.!

Think about that for a second and you'll realize what drives the drug industry in this country. It's all about marketing.

Ever watch TV? Ever get sick of all the ads for drugs for problems you never anybody had? Ever get sick of the words Cialis? Viagra? Flomax?

Meanwhile, the drug industry has given up researching new antibiotics because of low profit potential.

The non-free market and massive lobbying have turned the pharmaceutical industry into a huge drain on the U.S.

JUNGLE JACK

I thought all this nonsense about forcing Canada to subsidize our prescription drugs was finally revealed as the mindless political wedge issue that it is.... I guess there are still some who think other countries should pay for their pills.

whispering_to_kc

Drug companies spend more on advertising than they spend on R&D. The last time I looked it up, they spent four times their R&D budgets on advertising.

I could do with a few less Viagra ads.

 
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