A PDR listener sent me a link with an American in Bangkok buying his prescriptions at a fraction of the price. We are being ripped off. Being informed will allows us to neuter Big Pharma.
Ripped off by Big Pharma
I get tired of being impotent to the propaganda from Big Pharma. These drug companies take taxpayer-developed research and then extort us to use prescriptions based on the research we all paid for in the first place.
Big Pharma lies to us. They tell us that research and development will suffer if we do not pay those high prices. That is bigger than Trump’s big lie because it has been persistent for decades, and many continue to pay the inflated charges because they believe it.
Let’s get one of the biggest lies out first. While they claim that drug prices need to be high to ensure research and development, the reality is they spend much more on marketing and ads than research and development.
Big Pharma profits far exceed the profit margins of the top 500 non-pharmaceutical companies, 17.1% vs. 6.7%. And that is after spending ridiculous amounts on marketing which usually includes a lot of ‘fraud’ because of the nebulous nature of marketing.
The other lie is one by omission. They would have you believe that they are the sole investor in the development of drugs. The reality is that they are always sucking on the nipple of the government either for research dollars or ripping off inventions and research that we-the-people, taxpayer tax dollars, developed.
Overall, NIH funding contributed to research associated with every new drug approved from 2010-2019, totaling $230 billion. This funding supported investigator-initiated Research Projects, Cooperative Agreements for government-led research on topics of particular importance, as well as Research Program Projects and Centers and training to support the research infrastructure. This NIH funding also produced 22 thousand patents, which provided marketing exclusivity for 27 (8.6%) of the drugs approved 2010-2019. These data demonstrate the essential role of public sector-funded basic research in drug discovery and development, as well as the scale and character of this funding. It also demonstrates the limited mechanisms available for recognizing the value created by these early investments and ensuring appropriate public returns.
So, how can we turn this around? We must get away from the marketing by Big Pharma that convinces us to pay ridiculously high prices. They make us believe that we would not have drugs to cure us absent, allowing them to extort us. We must tell the truth. We must point them out as the thugs-in-ties-and-suits that they are. We must make it clear that compared to the petty cigarette or candy bar thieves, they cause the deaths of more people than all criminals combined by pricing too many out of lifesaving drugs. You can do your part by sharing truthful and frank articles like this with everyone you know and asking them to do the same.