US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt) recently commented on American drug makers and how they are gouging US consumers. Comparing drug prices in the US to other countries Sanders pointed out that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for medications. Sanders also noted that the top 3 drug makers in the US made a combined $45 billion dollar profit last year. That’s astounding to say the least. And Sanders also pointed out that these drug makers spent more on sales and marketing than they did on research and development.
Sanders made his comments on the US Senate floor saying that the US is the only major nation on earth that does not regulate prescription drug prices in one form or another and he described this as “an unmitigated disaster.” As we noted in a post on this site a few days ago Americans consume over 80% of the world’s legal drugs proving once again that America is the primary market for drug consumption, legal AND illegal.
Senator Sanders said nationwide spending on legal drugs increased more than 12% last year and he noted that that increase was more than double the rise of overall medical costs. Sanders also said that 35 million Americans did not fill a prescription last year because they could not afford it. Presumably their insurance wouldn’t pay for it either. For instance, one middle aged man we talked to did not fill a prescription for nail fungus a few months ago because his insurance wouldn’t pay for it and the out of pocket cost was….get this…..$800.00! Another man we spoke with did not have an eye drop prescription filled for the same reason and his out of pocket cost would have been almost $80.00.
Sanders is advocating a new approach to RX drugs in the US and says America needs leadership that will stand up to the drug makers and “tell them loudly and clearly that they will no longer be able to rip off the American people.” Sanders and colleague Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Md) have introduced the Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 which would authorize the Secretary of DHS to negotiate drug prices for better prices under private Medicare drug plans. It also includes tougher penalties for drug makers that commit fraud and bans the current practice of brand name drug makers paying competitors to keep lower cost generic drugs off the market. The legislation would also allow the US to import drugs from Canada and require drug makers to report how much money they spent on research and development and how much they get in federal benefits.
The sad fact is that many medications cost the drug makers less than $1 to make yet they turn around and sell the same pill for an astounding $10 per pill. The drug makers are making an average of a 300% profit on these medications and their greed is far past being simply out of control. Last year drug makers in the US made bigger profits than the oil companies and that’s beyond shocking.
Somewhere along the line the unbridled GREED in this nation must be reigned in not only in the RX drug industry but all other economic sectors and industries. For their part Americans can STOP buying the products they believe are outrageous price-wise. In other words BOYCOTT the products and in short time the drug makers and others will get the point once they see their astounding profits sink dramatically. And don’t buy the garbage put out by the drug makers that you “need” the drug. Chances are YOU DON’T! And please educate yourselves about the side effects as I really don’t think you want to exchange arthritis for heart failure do you? The drug makers don’t give a damn about your health. All they care about is PROFIT and, sadly, the same can be said for many LEGAL DRUG DEALERS in this nation, aka YOUR doctor!
Wake up America! Enough is Enough!