mardi 1 août 2017

Drug prices

Drugs are often patented products, so the price is pretty much "whatever US insurance is willing to pay."

Canadian drugs are the same as US, just packaged and priced for Canada.


Bernie wants us to have cheap drugs.

Bernie Sanders’ Drug Price Bill Would Save Billions, Congressional Analysts Say
Spending millions on campaign donations and lobbying, the pharmaceutical industry has for years successfully fought off legislation to end the prohibition. This year — nearly 17 years after President Bill Clinton’s administration killed Democrats’ drug importation legislation — the importation initiative has once again been renewed. Looking to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s promise to lower drug prices, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with 21 Democratic lawmakers, introduced the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act on Feb. 28. The bill was referred to the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

CBO estimates that the change would in total reduce federal government drug spending by more than $6.8 billion over ten years, including a reduction of $5.1 billion in direct spending and roughly $1.7 billion in increased revenue.

The problem is that drug companies are global. The same company makes and sells drugs to Europe. The price is what they can negotiate with EU. Now, why do they sell cheap? Because it is cheaper to make twice as much drug, per kg, then sell the second half at a small profit. It the politicians change the rules about imports, the drug companies will just slightly lower US prices and raise Europe prices quite a bit. They are a monopoly of any one patented drug. Some drugs are unsafe to manufacture and require a lot of safety engineering to protect the plant operator. You are not going to put up a competing plant overnight. Also, the FDA rules require extensive tests and proof that all lots come out within the specs.

India China and Israel make drugs under FDA approved production. Those are most of the generics you buy now. They are manufactured specifically for the US. India sells "dirtier" drugs (over 0.25% total impurities) or looser conditions (if every tenths lot is thrown out, you cannot sell in the US at all).

via International Skeptics Forum

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