Friday, September 19, 2008

Prescription Drug Competition

A big "selling point" in Barack Obama's plan is his idea that there should be competition from other countries for Prescription Drugs.

Senator Obama, do you not realize that the reason that drugs are so expensive in the United States is because lawyers such as yourself require amazingly stringent testing prior to a drug being released on the market and then sue the skin off of drug companies if anything - foreseeable or not - goes wrong once the drug is released?

Do you not realize that if you open up the competition for drugs with other countries, what you will do is push the US drug companies out to other countries with less stringent standards?

A few years ago, it was estimated that the cost of developing a drug, from idea to market, ranges from 500 million to more than 2 billion dollars.  And we wonder why costs are so high.


Bianca Castafiore? said...

I am not sure I understand your argument. There is no change envisioned as to *standards* -- no matter where the medication originates -- and so the thing I see being "pushed" the most is drug company profit margins, which doesn't bother me in the least. (The costs of R&D are surely amenable to revision and competition -- is that not the American Way? Perhaps there will be fewer drugs in the pipeline that end up being neither more harmful, nor more EFFECTIVE, than placebo!)

J said...

Leaving politics out of it, I don't think you understand the whole picture.

Currently, all other industrialized nations have lower drug costs while we Americans cover their balances.. Their governments fight to make prescriptions affordable through laws. Sadly for us, ours does not.

500 million per drug for R%D is a complete fallacy. Do some research and you'll discover that most "new" are not so new. Not to mention that Pharma has 18.5% + profit margins.

Your friendly public health reader.