Skip to comments.Americans betrayed by Democratic senators with surprise amendment that protects Big Pharma monopoly
Posted on 05/08/2007 9:45:03 AM PDT by BlazingArizona
Consumers expecting a miracle in the Senate that would end Big Pharma's monopoly and the FDA-enforced drug racket now operating in the United States will be sorely disappointed by yesterday's events. Fifteen Democratic senators (led by Sen. Edward Kennedy) abandoned consumer interests and joined a Republican-organized amendment that would protect Big Pharma's stranglehold over U.S. consumers by blocking the importation of prescription drugs from other countries...
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Sorry that is not true all the time either. I know a research scientist who has developed a new substance that will effect most areas of medicine. The Chinese are already using it, it is being used in Veterinary Medicine already, and Europe is just now allowing it’s use.
It was developed/invented for a few million dollars of government grants and the big Pharm companies are PO'd. In fact the big Pharms have been trying to buy the patents on this product so they can manufacture and sell this product in an effort to recover the 500 million $ they have put into their failed research in this area. I know what the figures are. Big Pharm would make this product for $11 ea, and sell it to hospitals for $250 ea. The hospitals would mark it up from there. All of this on someone else’s research and discovery. They do not have a dime into the research that led to the discovery or refinement of this product but they would still financially rape the public with the markup if they could buy the patents.
I am proud of the doc who developed this product both for his brilliance as a research scientist and also for not selling out to the big Pharm companies. Our Senate just passed another bill that protects our Pharmaceutical companies from competition outside our borders. Many Democrats had to cross party lines to help pass this bill. This is the real story in this. Our politicians are owned by the Pharmaceutical companies.
“However, what floats the R&D budgets of companies is the US market. Like it or not, if we re-import drugs at a lower price, the R&D for new drugs companies will drop. Well get current drugs cheaply and then no new drugs ever ever ever.”
One conceivable way out of this may be for the US govt to make it illegal for American companies to dump in foreign countries for less than the selling price in the US. This can to be a can of worms, with Europe and Canada retaliating any way they can to save their sacred cow price controls. Then we would probably have to make exceptions for impoverished countries, e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Patents are necessary.”
And absolutely useless when you are dealing with people in countries with governments that won’t actively prosecute infringement cases.
“Marketing saves consumers money. How is Wal-Mart able to offer customers everyday low prices? Lots of marketing, advertising, and PR spend.”
I am talking about Pharma spending billions to advertise to consumers (as opposed to doctors). How does that save people money? It just drives up the costs at which they sell the drugs so that they can maintain their profit margins.
What on earth are you talking about? What "laws" force us to pay higher prices? Do you not understand the concept of patents?
That's a problem for diplomats, not for businessmen. If faced with such recalcitrant gov'ts their only choice is to make some profit or make none.
I agree the US should make foreign lands pay their fair share of Pharma R&D costs. I don't agree with FReepers who want cheap stuff just because they think they deserve it. That's becoming no worse than the foreigners who blatantly steal others' intellectual property (or threaten to do so.)
The US Gov't has no power to hinder exports. For good reason.
Not true. If there was very little demand, drugs would have to be much more expensive to recoup the development costs.
Just as in the case of any other product, the stimulation of demand by making people aware of the product (i.e. marketing) is what causes the price of drugs to be as low as they are.
Drug companies do not spend any more on marketing than they have to.
What did Lipitor cost in 1970? What did Plavix cost then? Would you like to guess?
“They do not have a dime into the research that led to the discovery or refinement of this product but they would still financially rape the public with the markup if they could buy the patents.”
Most likely your friend has a good idea of the future economic worth of his work and can make a deal with big pharma and rape THEM accordingly. It may be to his advantage to do so because he may not have the necessary marketing, manufacturing, or legal know-how. Or maybe he does, in which case he can tell them to take a flying leap.
The rhetoric that you hear from Democrats who favor price considers only producion costs and not R&D. The fact remains that imposing price controls on drugs ala Canada and Europe would kill R&D.
You mean Pharma Corps aren’t charities? /sarcasm
Pray tell, how you would enforce the patents? Do you think that the drug companies want their intellectual property stolen? Do you think that they want to give away all the AIDS medicine to Africa? Do you think they don’t want to sell their product at free market cost in Canada? And what do you propose the price of drugs should be in Mexico, Africa, most of Asia? Same price as the US, when the average income is about $500 per year?
Do you think Big Pharma is a worse plague on the system than the trial lawyers who are driving up costs with their frivolous lawsuits?
Lots of biotech in Mass. Kennedy has always been good to both biotech and Pharma. It is the only good thing he has ever done.
You can shop worldwide online for just about any legal product - except your prescriptions. Being required to buy locally in this one instance gives the seller unique power to control the market.
Free Trade is good. Unless its not good for Big Pharm.
The bulk of Pharmaceutical spending comes from marketing.
There are import tariffs and restrictions on all kinds of products. You may think you've found a golden loophole, but it is foolishness to think the manufacturers are going to send enough volume of pills to Canada to have them be re-imported in the quantities Americans would need.
The price in the US is what it is. If you want Canadian prices, move to Canada.
So when is Congress going to shut down food imports?
I've done that on other products. One of the most recent was a Mozart CD collection (recommended here at FR) which was over $300 at amazon.com, but about $100 (including shipping and currency exchange rates) at amazon.de in Germany. If American consumers could buy drugs across borders, then the drug companies would have to spread their R&D costs across all their customers instead of just sticking Americans with them.
I think that many of the Dems who voted for this just want to keep current prices high to cause the collapse and ultimate nationalization of the American health care system sooner. The drug companies are feeding the aligator and hoping to be the last one eaten eith allies like that.