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Anyone see Frontline last night

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,408
2
81
Good story about how we in the United States pay 3X what any other western european or Japan or canada does for the same Pharmacuticals. We are basically funding all the R&D and advertising while to rest of the world gets cheap drugs. They all have price controls.

Grandma was paying $1000 a month on four percriptions to keep her going.

They also said many of these new drugs efficacy is in question when compared to old (ie generic low profit margin drugs) and American Doctors and Patients have been dupped into paying for the latest and greatest dispite this fact.

The Pharmacutical industry runs profits higher than any sector in the Fortune 500 at 20% vs. 3%.


Link

As usual this is a tough issue. Do you believe price controls will hamper futher develoment and therfore should be left to the open free market? Or does thier monoploy patent power make it so we are paying to much and they are profiteering of a nessesity for life, the drugs? Who knows but good program.
 

zephyrprime

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,506
1
81
We are basically funding all the R&D and advertising while to rest of the world gets cheap drugs
I've always believed this. The other nations are getting their cheap drugs at the US' expense.

Do you believe price controls will hamper futher develoment and therfore should be left to the open free market
That's the rub. Price controls would reduce amount of development. Make no mistake about it. By going with price controls, society is making a decision to have more people suffer or die because keeping them alive is too expensive. I'm not saying making such a decision is a good or bad thing. I just wish people would face up to the hard choices we have to make.

many of these new drugs efficacy is in question when compared to old (ie generic low profit margin drugs) and American Doctors and Patients have been dupped into paying for the latest and greatest dispite this fact.
I don't know conclusively how widespread this is but I've noticed that now that Claritin has become available as a generic, my doctors have been pushing Allegra. But Allegra doesn't work well on me. In fact, even claratin was only ever a little better than over the counter drugs for me. I'm not alone in this either. A study was done that showed Claratin wasn't really any better than many OTC antihistimines. (I advise an allergy sufferer just to try a whole bunch of drugs and see what's best for them. That's the only way to really find out but I've never had a doctor that took this approach.)
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
17,848
24
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We are basically funding all the R&D and advertising while to rest of the world gets cheap drugs
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I've always believed this. The other nations are getting their cheap drugs at the US' expense.
Well its kinda hard to have a 'belief' about this, it is an incontrovertible fact.

What isn't the US funding so the rest of the world can have it cheap....

But you know, we are all rich in America, so we can afford to subsidize the world and forgive all debts of developing countries.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,201
3,251
126
Part of the problem is that drug companies take last years drug, slightly alter it's composition, then sell it as a "new" drug, and give it a new name. The "new" drug isn't significantly better than the "old" one, but is sold at a higher price. The US isn't "subsidizing" for the rest of the world as much as drug companies are using the US to maximize profits, it's not that they don't make profits in Canada, Europe, or other places, they just don't make as much as in the US.
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
17,848
24
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It is well known that drug companies sell many drugs at break-even prices or at a loss in other counties like Mexico.

"Maximizing profits" can be another way of saying "staying afloat and competitive" depending on who you ask.

General Motors and Ford sell many of its budget models at break even prices or a loss on every vehicle then make up for it on Escalades and Explorers. There are many (probably most) companies using some form of distributed profit model; lose some here, make it up over there.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,201
3,251
126
Originally posted by: tcsenter
It is well known that drug companies sell many drugs at break-even prices or at a loss in other counties like Mexico.

"Maximizing profits" can be another way of saying "staying afloat and competitive" depending on who you ask.

General Motors and Ford sell many of its budget models at break even prices or a loss on every vehicle then make up for it on Escalades and Explorers. There are many (probably most) companies using some form of distributed profit model; lose some here, make it up over there.
Point taken, however, the drug companies are not taking a loss everywhere but the US.
 

chowderhead

Platinum Member
Dec 7, 1999
2,607
211
106
The pharmacutical companies kept on talking about price controls and price caps by the gov't. Well, *if* the government buys/pays for 51% of the presciption drugs (this would happen if the federal gov't offers a prescription drug plan under medicare) in the United States, I believe the federal gov't has every right to negotiate prices. If I buy 51% of your total goods, you can bet I would try to get a lower cost. Why is the gov't not part of a capitalistic society? If the pharmacutical companies don't like the price negotiated then increase the % shares from the private sector, etc to minimize the effects of gov't.
 

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