Skip to comments.Rick Santorum Tells Sick Kid Market Should Should Set Drug Prices [Santorum is correct]
Posted on 02/02/2012 3:02:35 AM PST by grundle
GOP contender Rick Santorum had a heated exchange with a mother and her sick young son Wednesday, arguing that drug companies were entitled to charge whatever the market demanded for life-saving therapies.
The mother said the boy was on the drug Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia, and that, on paper, its costs would exceed $1 million each year.
Santorum said drugs take years to develop and cost millions of dollars to produce, and manufacturers need to turn a profit or they would stop developing new drugs.
"You have that drug, and maybe you're alive today because people have a profit motive to make that drug," Santorum said. "There are many people sick today who, 10 years from now, are going to be alive because of some drug invented in the next 10 years. If we say: 'You drug companies are greedy and bad, you can't make a return on your money,' then we will freeze innovation."
Santorum told a large Tea Party crowd here that he sympathized with the boy's case, but he also believed in the marketplace.
"He's alive today because drug companies provide care," Santorum said. "And if they didn't think they could make money providing that drug, that drug wouldn't be here. I sympathize with these compassionate cases.
I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don't have incentives, they won't make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don't."
(Excerpt) Read more at gma.yahoo.com ...
schizophrenia drugs costing $4,500 per year save more than $70,000 in annual institutional treatment costs
Also, there are cheaper generic drugs that are available. Many people take generic drugs to save money. In several years, the patent for Abilify will expire, and its generic version will be available too.
Keep in mind also that most Conservatives do believe in assistance for children with debilitating diseases who simply cannot afford help on their own.
It’s the folks who CAN help themselves we don’t want freeloading, thank you very much......
Rick is right on the market, but he’s not very quick on his feet sometimes. This is going to come-off worse than he intended.
I see that DU has a thread about this. Not a single person there has shown any understanding or appreciation for how difficult and expensive it is to invent a new drug. And none of them seem to understand that these “expensive” drugs for treating schizophrenia are far cheaper than the cost of institutionalization. And none of them seem to understand that life on these drugs is far better than spending your life in a hospital.
You’d think that liberals would have a better understanding of mental illness...
But he is correct in his principles. He sticks to what he knows is the truth, and doesn't try to be a slick politician and be everything to everyone. We need more of this.
He is spot on with his analysis. And the FDA is one orrrupt organization. Ask anyone who followed the story of Dendreon.
It can take up to 1 billion to bring a drug to market..and with a limited patent life, only a few years to recoup the investment and turn a profit. 17 year patent, up to 13 years chewed up in development.
That’s right, all the drugs that people were “dying for” at the time of Clinton care in ‘96, had to eat dog food so they could buy them, etc., re now generic and $4/ month at Wal-mart and a lot of other pharmacies. Plus , Abilify even on paper, at $1m/year, is an outrageous lie.
The expense is greatly driven up by government over-regulation and lawsuits of all kinds. Most executives in the pharmaceutical industry are lawyers, not doctors. On the plus side there are a lot of drugs invented that have dubious value so the massive government obstacle course keeps them off the market. Drugs could certainly be brought to market much cheaper if the FDA relaxed their regulation though.
Yes. That's utterly ridiculous. At drugs.com a six month supply of Abilify, at a 10mg/day dose (recommended starting dose for schizophrenia) is ~ $3,422. That's not cheap, but it clearly isn't ‘a million dollars a year on paper’.
First, some of the huge costs have to do with offsetting giving or steeply discounting the drug to some (many) patients. Others to offset the scores of drugs that cost money to develop, but never made it to market.
Case in point. A new cystic fibrosis drug has been approved. It will GREATLY help 10% of CF sufferers. With tweaking, it may help some of the rest.
The drug costs $300,000 per year. There are 30,000 CF sufferers in the U.S., so that’s a pool of only 3,000 patients (compare with the pool for cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure meds).
In 17 years or whatever, generics will be available. Somewhat sooner, similar products will also drive the cost down. In the meantime, some people who have a horrible genetic disorder, great suffering and a short life assigned to them, may be able to live a normal, full length life. This is a huge deal. Without the payoff, the drug WOULD NOT EXIST.
Some drug companies have patient assistance programs, as well.
“I see that DU has a thread about this. Not a single person there has shown any understanding or appreciation for how difficult and expensive it is to invent a new drug. And none of them seem to understand that these expensive drugs for treating schizophrenia are far cheaper than the cost of institutionalization. And none of them seem to understand that life on these drugs is far better than spending your life in a hospital”
That’s because people at DU believe that those who are institutionalized should get the pillow treatment.
Why let facts get in the way of a good smear?
That woman and her child were obviously plants trolling for soundbytes for the DNC or one of the other candidates. One in particular comes to mind.
My brother, a lib lawyer, once told me that something had to be done about “big pharma” because they were the most profitable industry in the country. I argued that was good since it would spur the development of new and better medicines which most of us want. I then asked him that since liberals seem to have industries ranked on how deserving they are to make money, which ones are their top 3, and why do they deserve to make that money, and which place should pharma occupy? He didn’t have an answer for that, it just felt bad that pharma was on top.
I dislike Santorum, but he is correct. These drugs would not EXIST if there were no possibility of them earning enough to pay for their own development and production, and paving the way for further research on other medicines. Stupid hit piece. Infantile premises.
Ideally, the safety of drugs would be rated by the government, by private companies, and by insurance companies, and then doctors and patients could discuss the risks and benefits and make up their own minds.
So she said it was $1 million a year when it’s really about $7,000.