Patents Versus The People: Big Pharma’s Game

The pharmaceutical market is one that has been quickly evolving over the past decade, and it’s not in a way that’s favorable or beneficial to patients. In fact, some patients have been knocked right out of the ability to buy medication that can save their lives.

Some medications have jumped in price to as much as 2,000 percent more than they were only a short while ago. One example of such a medication is Cosyntropin. The manufacturer raised the price of the drug from $36 a bottle to $801 per bottle. Specialists use the drug to treat infants that have spasms because of adrenal disorders. Loving parents don’t want their children to have spasms and seizures, so many of them work extra jobs to try to get the money.

The above-mentioned manufacturer is not the only one that is implementing drastic price increases. It appears that most brand name drug providers have jumped on the profit bandwagon and implemented such price increases. Even the generic brand providers are elevating their prices for profit. While brand names drugs went up as much as 75 percent on the whole since 2007, generic drugs went up more than 50 percent. One generic drug had an outrageous 1,700 percent increase. Examples of some other drugs that have skyrockted in price over the years are Albuteral, Doxycycline Hyclate, nitropress, Neostigmine Methylsulfate and more. It seems that life and death has suddenly become a franchise instead of a concern.

Pharmaceutical companies are more concerned with making money than they are with providing the community with affordable products. Some of these items have gone from costing less than $20 a container to almost $1,000 for one container.

Americans Simply Can’t Afford Medications

America is in a recession at this time, which means that citizens can no longer afford high priced medications. Many of them are opting to forsake their prescribed medicines because they simply have no way to pay for it. Even with discount medical cards and some insurance policies, medicine is still out of range for many people. The Commonwealth Fund reported that more than 50 million American Citizens don’t fill their prescriptions at all.

Alternatives Being Blocked by Big Pharma Companies

Citizens used to be able to rely on generic brands, but now they don’t even have the privilege. To make it worse, the larger pharmaceutical companies are trying to get patents on a heap of drugs so that other companies cannot sell them at a lower price. The Novartis company recently tried to do just that. It applied for a patent for the drug, Gleevek, which is a medication that leukemia patients need. The company claimed that it had created a variation of the drug and that it needed to have intellectual rights on it. The Indian Supreme Court shot the company down because they did not see upon inspection where the company had changed anything about its formula. The courts thwarted this giant’s attempt at monopolizing leukemia medication, but another big company was right behind it trying to do the same thing.

Patent Wars Will Cause More Strife

Patent wars will continue to progress over the years, and patients will still be unable to purchase their medication. Many more people will lose their lives because they do not have access to affordable medication. Pharmaceutical companies appear to be trying to lock down the market so that no one can compete with them. They seek to destroy the liberty that shoppers have by making all of their medicines unattainable. With the support of the World Trade Organization backing their practices, it is difficult for anyone to go up against predatory pharmaceutical companies.