Great Pharma vs. The US Consumer’s Pocketbook
I applaud the President’s executive order to improve price and quality transparency in healthcare. It’s about time we finally put patients first. I do wish it had more teeth in it for immediate enforcement, but it’s a great move that’s been a long time coming. President Trump did something no one else had the courage to do.
President Trump has done more to get drugs approved than most.
He got experimental drugs allowed to be used by terminally ill patients. I agree with the President, if someone is terminally ill, let them take any drug they want. Hell, we allow assisted suicide, why wouldn’t we let them take an experimental drug? If it works, they’re part of a study. I mean it’s just common-sense stuff.
The fact that the Chamber of Commerce has been fighting this for years, is further endorsement that it’s the right thing to do. We all know the pharmaceutical groups have a large control of the Chamber of Commerce.
Obviously, prescription drugs have been a problem. Too many going into the wrong hands, and high pricing for the people who really need them.
I know they say that if they sell a lot more drugs, the price will be cheaper, but that’s never been the case in the pharmaceutical industry. They think like a real estate company. When things are selling well you raise prices.
I’d love to see the President go in and play extreme hardball with the pharmaceutical companies. They have been taking advantage of the American taxpayer for far too long. You can buy drugs cheaper in every other country in the world than the United States. Why is that? We’re the largest purchaser of drugs in the world and we’re treated the worst.
Let’s Play Hardball And This Is How We Do It:
#1 Make the Prices Affordable NOW!
The pharmaceutical companies have got to lower the price to the American consumer to be at the most no more than 150% of what the lowest price they are charging to any other country (I do believe the poorer third world countries need an advantage). That is the maximum they can make after recouping their investment in the research and development of the drug (which they’ll lie about, but you know we can send auditors in to minimize their accounting tricks because I’m sure they are hiding their overhead costs in their research and development numbers). Also, many of the drugs they sell are developed outside their company by a smaller group.
These are things that need to be above board. How do we make them above board? Don’t approve the drug until everything is fully disclosed. It should be that simple.
If the drug companies try to recoup their exorbitant profits by passing it on the distributers, then eliminate the distributers. Sure, they will all get fired up and the lobbyists will go crazy, but that savings has to be passed on to the American consumer.
The drug companies have to lower their prices and come into line. Perhaps the threat of them not being part of government drug purchasing programs such as Medicare would open their eyes.
They say there’s a drug that just came out that costs $2.1 million for one years’ use. It saves lives and it’s for babies. But the price of the drug isn’t dependent on what it costs to make, which is probably pretty expensive. But it’s based on a person’s life expectation and how much it’s worth. How do you price a drug on that? That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
#2 Regulate Them
I think we can regulate more in the drug industry. It is totally different than buying a car or vegetables. These drugs save lives. We shouldn’t be held financially hostage to be able to receive them. They shouldn’t be allowed to charge something they know we can’t afford therefore making the government pay for it. We could save $200 billion in drug subsidies being paid to the pharmaceutical companies.
The reason the drug companies sell to the distributors is because they don’t want the liability of watching where the drugs go. I think there should be multi-billion-dollar penalties for drug companies and distributors who oversell in specific areas. Make it hurt. If the fines are great enough, they’ll do the monitoring. We won’t need to monitor the monitors if we make the fines incredibly painful.
#3 Create a Moratorium
We should be able to have more responsive people in the FDA and I do believe in bringing drugs to market faster. There’s always risk in a side effect of a drug, and we should make sure they are as minimal as possible. It seems like we make sure there’s a couple of trials, but then we sit on it. We sit on the cheap drugs. That’s the problem. We don’t sit on the expensive drugs.
Put a temporary moratorium on any drug approvals. Yes, this might not fit in the constitution too well, but put a temporary moratorium on drug lobbyists for six months until a strong bill is passed. Just say, you’re not allowed to do anything for six months. Otherwise, we’re going to minimize the drug lobbyists and we’re going to do it in Congress. Only because the President will go to the people, and they will demand it.
#4 Make Them Amortize Their Investment
Have the pharmaceutical companies amortize their investment in a drug over 10 years. Make that a law. That would change everything if you had to amortize the drug and what people pay for it. We do this to utility companies. They have to amortize their investments in power lines and power stations and turbines and nuclear power plants over 20 years. We should do this with the pharmaceutical companies.
That is how I would play hardball.
Now Will the Democrats Go Along with All This?
Hell no, but you’ll get the support of the people like you’ve never seen before when it comes to this subject matter. They think the President has been dragging his feet because the Swamp is still there, but it’s getting smaller. This will influence it greatly. Obviously, no one is going to get everything they want.
Why can’t somebody just make a decent profit on what they’re doing, instead of gouging the American people.
Again, I’m excited about the President’s executive order. It allows us as customers of health care to compare prices before we make a decision. I recommend that the American people look at all services before they are needed and have instructions for what to do under certain circumstances. After all, it’s difficult to go shopping while you’re having a heart attack.