Monday, March 26, 2018

Why Can't Big Pharma Discover a Cure For Outrageous Drug Pricing?- The Sunday Collage

There is always an element of fear in advertising. Often it is subtle- you'll be left out if you don't buy this or you don't know what you are missing- those are the underlying messages.

So I have noticed something new and over the top. It is a result I think- of how effective big pharma and their drug lobby has become. Buying our politicians with re-election bribes has certainly paid big dividends. It doesn't hurt that millions of otherwise uninsured people are still clinging to their Obamacare policies either.

The direct advertising and marketing of drugs to consumers is illegal in most countries. It used to be illegal here. That all changed sometime before the discovery of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. The boner pill market was so huge- that big pharma couldn't stand it and put the full court press on to make the direct marketing of those drugs to consumers legal around 1997. Big pharma of course, got what they wanted. As a result, I can't tell you how many ads I've had to watch. Older women laying across beds and couples walking hand in hand. The direct to consumer advertising and the 4 countries that allow it can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-to-consumer_advertising

So this latest round of direct to consumer advertising occurred when they discovered a cure for Hepatitis C. It is much more aggressive and in a way- simply scandalous.

A few months ago, I saw a television ad that said millions of Americans were living with undiagnosed Hep C. This was potentially a giant untapped market for big pharma. The ad urged people to get checked. What the ad did not say was that the newly discovered treatment/cure for Hep C costs upwards of 100,000 dollars. With patent protection laws- Congress has essentially given big pharma a license to steal. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/resource-centers/hepatitisc/will-hepatitis-c-virus-medicaton-costs-drop-in-the-years-ahead

Big pharma always whines about recovering research and development costs when accused of price gouging and fixing which they routinely engage in. The problem with R and D costs is that they never submit those costs to any private, independent accounting firm so that we may actually see what those expenses are. So as it stands- they get the best of both worlds. A monopoly on price fixed drugs and a bought off Congress that has given them 20 year patent protection to recover R and D costs without ever asking precisely what those costs are.

This form of government, the Congressional form which allows the routine gouging of "We the people" by corporate America- is called an oligarchy.

 a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes 
  • a military oligarchy was established in the country
also a group exercising such control 
  • An oligarchy ruled the nation.

Recently, I've seen ads where big pharma is now directly marketing tests to former smokers for cancer and heart disease. Those ads show a mountain of cigarette butts and urge viewers and former smokers to get checked. To be honest, I refuse to watch this latest round of ads. I get sick to my stomach watching this garbage knowing that all big pharma cares about is using you as a conduit to enrich themselves- rather handsomely.

Nobody cares either. Some people actually see big pharma's advertising assault as beneficial. Not me.

The only cure I want to see is a free marketplace where drugs can be developed because they can turn a profit on their own merits without help from our bribed political class offering protection.

Find a cure for outrageous drug pricing. That's the only cure I'd like to see.








2 comments:

looselystrung said...

They throw money at the government as in sums large or lager than Reynolds tobacco,corn lobby,alcohol etc in return the govt let's them do whatever pretty much the want.As a pharmacist I see older useless drugs repackaged with aspirin or whatever and put back on the market for outrageous prices.The FDA used to be the "watchdog" that IN PAST USED TO TEST ALL NEW DRUGS FOR "SAFETY" AND "effectiveness" is no longer doing so. They sold out to big pharma also and in many cases is allowing THE MANUFACTURER to do their own testing! Kind of like the fox in charge of protecting the chickens...Then the is direct to public advertising?! most people have no idea the dangers of these drugs they push..just "ask your doctor for some"
Like cures looking for a disease.."restless leg syndrome"? wtf... when did that become a disease? but we have a pill..."crying when you should be laughing? (think they call it pseudobulbar dysfunction or other..)yes there is a pill for that >I could go on....As a practicing hospital pharmacist for 30 years I have seen the industry turn predatory and autrageous. They also don't want to cure you..the drugs the doctor( who is bought by them often) gives you their drug and you have to "take daily for the rest of your life" thats what tey love bet.This Opioid crap coming down the pike smells to me like another govt. money black hole. Glad I am soon retiring but feel sorry for the general public and the new Rph graduates scraping for work in big box "drive through pharmacies?" wtf is that?

Brian said...

Excellent observations. The restless leg syndrome disease is a ridiculous example of how the industry is now making up diseases because they already have marketable drugs.

Comments such as yours are the reason I started blogging. Thank you for swinging by!