Possibly Why Prescription Drugs are Expensive in the United States

A big source of struggle among senior citizens is the high cost of prescription drugs which often force them to choose between drugs and food or other expenses. The drug companies maintain they put a lot of money into research in developing newer and more effective drugs. The real reason could be some other thing they put a lot of money into – influencing our government.

You probably remember when high prescription drug priceswere in the news. That so many retired people on a fixed incomeare forced to choose between food and their prescription medicines.

A lot of people taking these costly drugs regularly cross the borderinto Canada or Mexico where the same medications are a lot less costly.I remember visiting a Mexican border town where there seemed to bea pharmacy on every street corner.

Some countries like Canada and The United Kingdom place limits onwhat can be charged for prescription drugs, and in some cases, thecosts of medications is subsidised by the government.

So why are many prescription drugs in The United States so expensive?

There are some drugs which are expensive to produce. But only a fewdrugs are costly for this reason.

The pharmaceutical firms claim they do a lot of research indeveloping these drugs and newer drugs.  Such efforts are laborand capital intensive.  They want us to believe that we’re not onlypaying for the costs to produce and market the drugs themselvesbut also for the research that led to their development.

You mean the British don’t do any research?  The Germans don’t do anyresearch either? Come on!

The drug companies seem to take full advantage of that recently developeddrugs are patented and not available generically.  In fact, 60 percentof medications prescribed are single-source drugs.  Available only fromthe company that developed them.

So what could be the real reason prescription drugs being so expensive?

I’m sure a lot of people have seen the movie ‘Sicko’ with Michael Moore.Though this movie is aimed mainly at the shortcomings of the Americanhealth care insurance system, there was a mention of pharmaceutical companies.Namely the way these companies pay lobbyists to influence members of congress.

There was a scene in the movie about what they paid select congress personsin return for making decisions favorable to the pharmaceutical firms.

Decisions like restricting on line pharmacies.

That was the ‘Aha Moment’ I was subconciously waiting for.A real clue of why drugs are a lot more expensive this side of the border.

Drug companies pay lobbyists who in turn offer gifts to select members ofcongress in effort to maintain control of drug policies.

You do understand that this money has to come from somewhere. Anybody would conclude what these drug companies pay lobbyists comes from the difference between drug prices in the  United States and in other countries where they cost a lot less.

You could say the same thing for medical insurance companies.They have their lobbyists in Washington too.  If anything they willuse their influence to defeat any reform which amounts to universalhealth service and compromises their position to profit from people’sneed to be protected from catastrophic illnesses or injury.

We American Citizens need to everything in our power to put an endto this system where politicians greedily accept rewards to make decisionsfavorable to the few who believe they can stay wealthy by literallycontrolling the wealth by means of elected officials.

We can start by electing representatives who pledge not to be takenby gift-bearing lobbyists of the drug and health insurance companies.

If they let us down, more drastic measures might be considered.Anything to get them lofty-voiced politicians shaking in their boots.

After all, these Drug Company and Health Insurance Executives wholive lavish lifestyles are doing so at the expense of those who arestruggling financially.  Especially seniors who live on fixed incomesand lower income individuals and families who have to provide theirown health insurance – which is costly in part to the lobbyists theymaintain to perpetuate our corrupt political system we presumptuouslyrefer to as representative democracy.

Can anybody honestly believe the current state of affairs to be good?

Aren’t the officials we elect supposed to have our best interests at heart?

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