Are You Paying The Price of Big Pharma's Greed?

The quick-paced evolution of medical treatments is causing a serious concern about continuously rising health care cost. The expense-driving drugs are typically the ones that are newly developed and allow the patients to have a choice of treatment. However, the price competition makes it impossible to obtain them for an average person as many insurance companies do not absorb the cost of newly introduced drugs.

The Actual Cost of Production

The US law presently does not bar any pharmaceutical centers from raising the prices at their discretion. The common perception leads the public to think that the extreme cost of newly created drugs is caused by the need to cover the expense of research, development and manufacturing factors of the process.

In reality, the research and development is generally performed by academic students working in research labs where the cost is supported by public funds. Only the manufacturing segment of the operation is partly paid by the pharmaceutical companies. According to the studies completed by industry analysts, about 80 to 90 percent of the work is funded by public resources. The actual numbers are not available at this time as the real cost of research, development and reasons for high drug pricing are carefully protected by the drug companies.

What is Big Pharma

Big Pharma is the name used to describe the world’s pharmaceutical industry along with its trade PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). These influential and dominant corporations play an instrumental role in sales of medical devices and drugs.

This lobbying group manifests its power over the government, health care systems, hospitals, doctors and the public in general by its staggering profits while leaving the consumers with the disabling side-effect of the high cost.

Insurance Coverage

The effectiveness of the drugs seems to be closely related to the increase of the prices. Private insurers are allowed to negotiate the prices resulting in modest discounts for the patients, but even with the adjusted rebates the cost remains too high to afford for many. Medicaid is legally permitted to receive large discounts granting some patients a ray of hope for proper medical treatment.

Can an Average Patient Afford to Pay

Patients with Medicare coverage will most likely be able to fill their prescriptions as Medicare is prevented by law from price negotiations. It means, this type of insurance is obligated to pay the prices set by the pharmaceutical entities. Many other people simply cannot afford it and often seek alternative methods of treatment that are based on natural remedies or that are financed by their private insurance companies, but not as effective. Ultimately, becoming ill equates to astonishing sums of money leaving many patients without the treatment they need to recover from illness.

It is estimated that cancer patient’s medications can accumulate to a staggering $300,000 annually not including the cost of doctor’s visits, hospital care or other various methods of therapy. On average, Americans pay around 100 percent more for any type of drug than patients in other countries.

In cases of chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, the prices are inflated as much as 300 percent in USA. For other specialty drugs, the cost can be 10 times higher. As a result, the insurance premiums continue to grow, while the pharmaceutical corporations receive tax off-sets for development of new medications and ongoing research.

In conclusion, the prices of drugs in general are unreasonable, immoral, unethical and not sustainable leaving many people impoverished while trying to retain their health. Until the cost of drugs in USA is capped at a certain level and can be negotiated by insurance companies, many patients will be forced to resign from the treatment due to lack of available funds.


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