The news has been filled with stories about the price of various drugs being raised regularly by the large pharmaceutical companies that make them. In many cases, the price of these drugs is so high that people with average incomes cannot afford to buy them if they do not have health insurance. There are even people in the desperate situation of being forced to buy the medication they need with money that was set aside for food and rent. Health insurance providers are also voicing their displeasure about the massive price increases. Some providers are refusing to pay for certain prescription drugs unless they are offered a significant discount.
The enormous pharmaceutical companies always have the same excuse when they are questioned about the high prices they charge for their prescription medications. They will say that the high prices of their drugs are necessitated by the cost of research and development. According to Big Pharma, developing new and improved drugs is so expensive that they need to raise the price of their drugs in order to stay in business. However, the real reason why prescription medication prices are so high is something completely different.
As you might imagine, the pharmaceutical industry is extremely competitive. There are many different companies around the world that are battling each other for a piece of the billions of dollars that are spent on prescription drugs every year. The stakes are extremely high. This means that these companies must have comprehensive marketing campaigns to promote their various drugs to the general public. Marketing campaigns of this scale are extremely expensive.
There is data from 2014 that indicates something very interesting. Johnson & Johnson spent $17.5 billion on marketing and sales and $8.2 billion on research and development. Novartis had marketing and sales expenditures totaling $14.6 billion. However, only $9.9 billion was spent on R&D. A total of $11.4 billion was spent by Pfizer to market their drugs. Only $6.6 billion was spent by this company to develop new ones. Overall, the ten largest pharmaceutical companies spent a combined $65.8 billion on R&D and $98.3 billion on marketing and sales in 2014.
This data directly contradicts what Big Pharma has been telling the public regarding research and development being their largest expense. This is quite simply not the case. The data clearly shows that nine out of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the world spent considerably more money on sales and marketing than their total expenditures for R&D. Therefore, it does not take a genius to figure out what is really going on here. The drug makers are forcing sick people to finance their enormous advertising campaigns that cost many millions of dollars.
Americans who rely on prescription medications keep waiting for the United States government to step in and create laws that regulate the prices that large drug makers can charge for their prescription medications. However, it does not seem like that is going to happen any time soon. The lack of action by politicians can be traced back to the fact that Big Pharma has an army of lobbyists in Washington, DC. They are constantly urging politicians to not create any legislation that would put a limit on the prices pharmaceutical companies can charge. In exchange for the lack of any regulatory legislation on medication pricing, Big Pharma makes large contributions to the campaigns of these politicians. This will ensure that things will stay the same for another election cycle.
Now you know where the money comes from to pay for those medication popup advertisements that you see on your computer every day. You can now understand why almost every ad you see on TV these days is for a different type of medication. The money for these ads is coming from the pockets of the people who are being financially ruined by the cost of their medication. There is no question that the prices charged by Big Pharma will continue to rise until Congress does something about it.