Anyone shocked by this?
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.
In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. That will add more than $10 billion to the nation’s drug bill, which is on track to exceed $300 billion this year. By at least one analysis, it is the highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992.
So the drug companies promised Obama to cut costs by $8 billion, but first will raise those costs by $10 billion. I’m not a math whiz or anything, but that sure seems like a nice $2 billion boost for big Pharma.
I was thinking about drug prices yesterday while football was on. During one game there was the halftime report, and it was sponsored by Lipitor. I wonder how much that costs Pfizer? How about all those commercials for drugs and medical devices, like a common one for cardiac stents?
Drug companies spend billions a year in advertising for products that shouldn’t have to be sold to the public. To make this statistic even worse, they spend more in advertising than they do research. Why should Joe citizen need to be sold on Lipitor? One would think that would be the job of his doctor. If Joe has high cholesterol, then Joe’s doctor says “hey take this pill”. The money pharma spends on advertising is a total waste that does nothing but drive up the costs of our medications.
If the pharma industry wasn’t necessary for people to live then they would have been bankrupt years ago. The mismanagement, which includes regular engaging in felonies and paying out fines as the cost of doing business, is the poorest of business models. That’s why I believe it’s time for our government to step in and tell them to change their operations or the government will. This isn’t things like cars, or other materialistic objects. We are talking about peoples lives here, and this is a perfect case for the government to do a takeover. Pull pharma’s seat from the negotiating tables on healthcare and deliver them an ultimatum. Let’s make real change we can believe in.