Drug prices

headacheAsk your doctor if waawa-woowoo (with a long list of horrifying side effects) is right for you.–Seen all too often on TV.

According to recent polling of American adults, lowering prescription drug prices is one of the most important public issues, regardless of party (Figure 1). Americans are understandably concerned about a reduction in affordability, the disparity between U.S. drug prices and prices overseas, and well-publicized episodes of price manipulation.CEA-Rx-White-Paper-Final2

There is much more in the referenced article than I understand or can explain. I am indignant about affordability and well-publicized episodes of price manipulation. I am not at all concerned about low prices overseas–I see high prices here as a result of collusion between our government and domestic manufacturers–there is a reason that a drug company–Novartis–showered money on Michael Cohen. I doubt that the solution to high prices at home lies in higher prices overseas. Do we really believe that drug companies won’t innovate unless they anticipate enormous profits?

The report concludes:

The objective of government in biopharmaceutical policy is to ensure that firms invest in meaningful innovations that lower the price of health, rather than provide incentives that dampen rather than promote competition between innovations. Additionally, it is also the role of government to help solve international problems such as global free-riding on drug innovation, which harms U.S. citizens. Bad government policies or insurance programs that prevent, rather than foster, healthy price competition often induce artificially high prices in the United States. The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry is the engine of worldwide biopharmaceutical innovation and an important part of our economy. Preserving this industry and encouraging it to innovate while making drugs more available and affordable for all Americans is an attainable goal.

  •  ensure that firms invest in meaningful innovations that lower the price of health (care)
  • (avoid) incentives that dampen rather than promote competition.
  • solve international problems such as global free-riding on drug innovation.
  • (avoid) policies or insurance programs that prevent, rather than foster, healthy price competition.
  • The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry is the engine of worldwide biopharmaceutical innovation. (really, or is this political propaganda?)

I don’t believe drug companies are as likely to invest in innovations which will lower prices as they are likely to invest in innovations which will increase profits due to high priced products. They all want to find the wonder drug–expensive and popular with the public.

I’m from Missouri. Current government policy encourages high prices. Will that policy be reversed? Not likely if large drug company contributions to politicians can prevent it. We’ll see.

Click to access CEA-Rx-White-Paper-Final2.pdf




About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in Drugs, Health Care. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Drug prices

  1. whungerford says:

    At a doctor’s office, when you see a fashionable young woman in high heels chatting up the receptionist, do you think “drug rep?” I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. josephurban says:

    Like everything else Trump does, this is just PR. You can be sure that as long as the GOP controls the government there will be no restrictions on corporate pirates.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. whungerford says:

    Novartis’ CEO says it was a mistake to hire Cohen. He sees that Novartis didn’t get what it paid for, that the payments were legal, but isn’t reported to see that pay-to-play payments are wrong.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I have 5 prescription drugs that my doctor has prescribed for me for blood pressure, heart and blood thinner. They cost less than 20 bucks per month at Walmart. No Insurance at all.


  5. Rynstone says:

    I take 5 prescribed drugs for high blood pressure, heart and a blood thinner. A months worth of these prescription drugs cost me less than 20 bucks a month at Walmart with absolutely no insurance.


  6. whungerford says:

    So Gary Perry, aka Rynstone, aka Anonymous, what is your point? Some drugs are inexpensive; so what?


  7. josephurban says:

    Some drugs are cheap, some are expensive. Some folks have good health insurance, some don’t. And that, my friends, is the problem. All citizens should have access to affordable, quality care.
    Hey…wait…Didn’t Trump promise he was going to cover EVERYONE and do it CHEAPER? Whatever happened to his well thought out plan?

    TRUMP: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” — to The Washington Post, Jan. 15….

    TRUMP: People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better… lower numbers, much lower deductibles.”…

    By HENRY C. JACKSON 03/13/2017 10:14 PM EDT
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
    No one will lose coverage. There will be insurance for everybody. Healthcare will be a “lot less expensive” for everyone — the government, consumers, providers.

    President Donald Trump and his advisers have been talking about an Obamacare repeal and replacement plan, and making blanket statements about what it would entail, for nearly two years. In his recent speech to Congress, Trump cast his presidency as one of promises made and promises kept. And he and his aides have made plenty of promises about healthcare.

    Now there is a plan on the table: the American Health Care Act. The House-produced bill, endorsed by the White House, will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But an analysis of the measure, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, found that the bill would cause about 24 million people to lose coverage over the next decade — a finding that will test Trump’s health care claims. Notably, the White House has made it clear they reject the analysis.

    Here’s a look at six promises Trump and his advisers have made about replacing Obamacare, and how it compares to the CBO score:


    Before he was sworn in, President Trump made a bold promise: The as-yet-unreleased Obamacare repeal and replacement plan would have “insurance for everybody.”

    “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

    Trump has made other, more vague promises about the repeal-and-replace endgame.

    As he campaigned for the White House that he declared in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes”: “I am going to take care of everybody … Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” More recently, Trump has promised that repeal will end with “a beautiful picture.”




  8. Steve Beikirch says:

    Under the New York Health Act single payer proposal meds will cost New Yorkers nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. whungerford says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, Steve. I didn’t know that. I do have a feeling of trepidation. There is already a black market for drugs, supplies, and devices. Co-pays reduce potential black market profits.

    In Joseph Heller’s novel “Catch 22,” (as I remember) the doctor orders that Yosarian can have all the apples he wants. Milo, the black market operator, sees this as a cash cow. Yosarian can sell an unlimited number of apples on the black market.

    Having written this, I feel guilty because I do know that co-pays are a hardship for many. Perhaps something akin to Chris Hughes proposal for a guaranteed minimum income would make co-pays more acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. whungerford says:
  11. Steve Beikirch says:

    William, have you seen this brochure on the NY Health Act put out by Susan Beckley. Susan is running for the 58th state senate district to unseat Tom O’Mara.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rynstone says:

    Whungerford, I switched from CVS to Walmart and saved over 100 bucks a month for the same drugs.

    Steve Beikirch, How can drugs cost New Yorkers “nothing” under single Payer? Are the drug company stock holders going to pay for the manufacturing plants, research labs and going to have teh employees work for “free”. Seriously, how can “drugs cost nothing” to New Yorkers under single payer? Who will pay for them ?

    From Barack Obama on The savings that we would be getting form the Affordable Care Act. (aka Obamacare) after I lost my current healthcare twice because of ACA and a single policy now costs about twice as much before the ACA became law.


  13. whungerford says:

    When I worked at a division of the Bendix Corporation years ago, the corporation had purchase agreements with manufacturers for the purchase of integrated circuits. The corporation agreed to buy a certain volume of products in exchange for favorable pricing. I imagine that is how Walmart keeps their prices down. The NYS Health plan would likely take advantage of volume pricing. It is a shame and a scandal that Medicare is forbidden by law to negotiate low prices.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Rynstone says:

    Progressive Tax policies in NY State explained in “Beer” so it will be easier to understand



  15. Rynstone says:

    Sorry wrong posting. I apologize. Trying to do too many things at one time.

    This is the correct link to the NY Taxes explained using Beer.


  16. josephurban says:

    Ryn. Nothing is ever free, of course. But when millions of people participate in a program the costs get spread around. That is the first economic principle behind the idea of insurance.

    The reason some folks would get health care for “free” or close to “free” is because they cannot afford quality health care under our capitalist system. Low wage workers would not be able to access quality health care. That leads to a poor health care system in terms of the delivery costs overall. Since the system does not provide the normal means of living in our society, adjustments must be made. Otherwise we would have to throw out the filed system. Instead, we amend it.

    How does that work? Well, before the ACA the working poor who did not qualify for Medicaid had very limited access to health care services. As a result, they would tend not to get preventative care and wait until they needed to us the Emergency Rooms. Or, they and their children would develop minor or major health problems. Now, ER care is very expensive. And since these uninsured folks had no way of paying, the hospitals naturally passed on the cost to the insured. Which resulted in higher premiums for all.

    Since we know that preventative care is, in the long run, much cheaper than ER care, the ACA sought to use that knowledge to help lessen the financial burden on the system. As the CBO pointed out, the ACA was going to save billions in the long run.

    Now, the facts of how to run a more efficient system ran directly opposite the political ideology of some. So, many GOP led states undermined the ACA program by refusing to insure more of their own citizens under Medicaid . As a result, many of the working poor remained under insured or uninsured. Mr Obama did not anticipate that the GOP governors would intentionally keep their own citizens out of medical coverage. He did not understand exactly how nasty some of these people are. (We see something similar going on now with the attempt to cut back on health care for children under CHIPS).

    So, those of us fortunate enough to be in a stronger financial system pay more.Just as the society has given us the opportunity to make more money. That is the smart, long term solution. And the decent thing to do. That is the way it works in a decent society. And despite the recent trends in Congress and the Executive branch, underlying it all, the US remains a decent society filled with decent people.


  17. Steve Beikirch says:

    Gary (Rynstone) Perry, don’t worry, as a New Yorker you will be covered. Everyone is in – no one is out.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Rynstone says:

    Steve Beikirch, I am working hard at getting out of NY State. Trying for TN or W VA or Kentucky


  19. josephurban says:

    Every state has positives and negatives. But in the end, you get what you pay for.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.