Saturday, September 18, 2010

Well said

Ralph Surette points out that the fact that we're paying billions more than we need to for prescription drugs is far from an accident:
Canadians pay 16 to 40 per cent more for drugs than the average of industrialized countries. A national Pharmacare program, as a half-dozen countries already have, would save Canada over $10 billion a year on its $25-billion drug bill. Even other reforms short of a full national program would save billions in administration costs, drug costs (through bulk buying) and eliminated tax subsidies.

This claim is the argument of a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Since rising drug prices are one of the main drivers of a health care system said to be headed for unsustainability, shouldn’t we be curious about checking this out?
(I)f we can’t even talk about it, we might at least admit the ultimate reason why reasonable drug prices, however delivered, seem so impossible: the control exercised by the pharmaceutical companies that have parlayed a handful of "miracle" drugs into a suffocating — and spectacularly profitable — influence on the economics of medicine.
It costs less than $100 million (to develop a drug, compared to the $1 billion figure used by big pharma) — the rest is for promotion. Plus, of that $100 million, up to 80 per cent is in fact publicly funded "pure" research. The drug companies take that research and develop the pill. The public pays twice.

Further, up to 80 per cent of new drugs are a long way from miracles. They’re in fact knockoffs of existing drugs — a molecule changed, a new name, and a marketing campaign in the hundreds of millions. Since these knockoffs are tested against placebos, and not against each other, their relative value is really unknown and some may even be harmful. One of the money-saving recommendations of the CCPA report is a national assessment procedure for drugs, so we don’t pay a fortune for glorified Aspirin.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:51 a.m.

    based providers can get the Odesk Mastercard to have access to their funds.
    As long as you get them to account for the changes in budget you
    are at the whim of your client so try to stay flexible and
    don't get visibly annoyed if they change their mind later. Remember, everything inside the opening and closing marks is part of the comment and will in no way affect your code.

    Feel free to surf to my website; web design atlanta