Saturday, December 5, 2020

Big Pharma & Drug Prices - Fairness Doctrine

President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring Big Pharma to charge the same prices for 50 specific drugs in the United States that they charge a market basket of other rich countries.  The result would be a savings to consumers in the United States of about $85 billion over seven years.  It is a Most Favored Nation concept.  The reason Trump did it is that consumers in America pay the highest drug prices in the world.  Of course, Big Pharma is not happy about this Executive Order, which is why they supported Joe Biden for President.  And, Big Pharma is now suing the Trump Administration to stop this from happening. The irony is that the Socialists have been saying for years that Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices; but of course they never made it happen.  Trump's Executive Order is recognition that drug prices charged our consumers are one reason health care cost are higher in the United States than other countries.  

Here are the facts.  This Blogger takes a drug that retails for $400 for a 30 day supply.  It is technically a tier four drug, which would have required a $100 co-pay by me on top of whatever my medical insurance company pays for the drug.  Since it is the only drug that works for me, we got an exception making this drug a tier three drug, so I pay $47 a month.   No doubt in most other countries in the world, this particular drug does not have a retail price of $400.  Countries that have socialized medicine in many part of the world do not pay a retail price of $400 for this drug because they negotiate much lower drug prices than are paid by consumers in the US.

The reason Big Pharma can charge much less in other countries for the very same drug is because consumers in the US are subsidizing the rest of the world.  We pay more so they can pay less.  In other words, we pay more either in co-pays, or medical insurance premiums so the rest of the world can pay significantly less.  Big Pharma would argue that they need these higher prices in the US to pay for research and development of new drugs.  The fact that Big Pharma makes billions of dollars in profit every year anyway does not seem to matter.  That would all be fine except that consumers in the US are subsidizing other first world countries in Europe and Asia.  The question is why?   The answer is because our politicians of both parties until Trump have allowed this to happen because they get big contributions from Big Pharma.  Whose bread they eat, whose song they sing.  It is time to put America First.  

It is one thing for Big Pharma to charge third world poor countries lower drug prices, or even provide them drugs for free to make sure these people have access to life saving drugs; but there is no reason consumers in the US should be subsidizing the citizens of other rich countries.  That is ridiculous. Instead, prices should be based on a market basket approach so that the people of Europe, Japan, China etc. are paying the same prices we are paying for the same drugs.  That would mean that they would have to pay more, so that we could pay less.  This Fairness Doctrine advanced by Trump would help bring down the cost of health care in the United States.  It is about time.  We already pay for the defense of these very rich countries.   We don't need to pay for their drugs as well.  It has to stop.  

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