Guest Opinion: Right track, wrong track on drug pricing

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  • DonM Bountiful, UT
    April 25, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    I don't see Canadians dropping dead from taking Canadian made drugs. They are just as safe as American made ones and often just a fraction of the cost.

    Big Pharma is behind US laws that keep drug prices unreasonably high. For example, ObamaCare was going to promote more usage of generics by not allowing name brands to be zero co-pay to the user but with a higher than generic price covered by insurance, but Big Pharma made sure that was taken out resulting in higher drug costs.

    Even drugs that are decades old cost much more now because there is no competition. There is no justification for this - arguing the money is used to pay for future drug discoveries is a dodge. In industries where the prices matched true costs due to competition, advances are still made.

  • Sharkey Layton, UT
    April 25, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    The FDA is, at least partially, funded by industry. Google PDUFA. Drug manufacturers are multinational corporations, not particularly interested in helping America. The current drug shortages that the country has experienced seem like a warning: pay up or you'll be out of luck.

    I don't understand why a state senator is even commenting on this issue as it seems entirely out of his realm.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 25, 2019 6:50 a.m.

    What this politician and pharmacist intentionally omits is this; The US FTC allowed mega mergers, eliminating competition. The reason so many, once cheap, drugs are now 5-20 times higher is that Big Pharma buys out small companies that invented and held patents for certain drugs. Those drugs had protections from generics that expired after 10 years. Then the Big Pharma company, now owns the name of that drug. They make 1 or 2 minuscule tweaks to their drug and receive a new patent, eliminating generics for another 10 years. Then they raise the price to the breaking point. It's a blatant, but legal way, to use the patent laws to rip off consumers. Some of those same drugs, made by the same manufacturers, in the exact same packaging can be purchased in Europe for more than 10 times less in the US. It's almost legalized theft.