$494 million dollars in 2009. Many of these approved drugs fail in the marketplace. The few drugs that succeed must be marked-up to cover the cost of all the other drugs being researched.
Clearly one might then argue that the marketplace is not working. That would be true except for the fact that the market for prescription drugs is international while the patent protections are not. Foreign governments, including China, wait for new drugs to be released and then reverse engineer them. U.S. patents are sometimes used as a guide to create illegal generic versions of approved drugs. American drug companies must then compete with illegal generics because of the patent infringement. This leaves America as the only market in which to recoup the cost of creating life-saving drugs.
All of these costs are passed on to the American consumer via insurance premiums. Our insurance premiums are paying for the entire planets health care research and development. American tax-dollar-funded basic research grants are also used to create the drugs which are then stolen through patent infringement. Health insurance in America is expensive because of the enormous and unfair share of financial burden placed on our 5% of the world's population.
To control costs, we need a new policy that is not focused on cost cutting grandma into hospice through "end of life counselling." We need a policy that returns patent protections to the creators and then enforces our patent laws internationally. How do we enforce U.S. law internationally? Make it clear that any violation of U.S. patent law with regard to prescription drugs will be pursued by the U.S. Justice Department. When a foreign government, corporation or individual violates us, make an example of them. Do this repeatedly and publicly instead of running guns to Mexican/Iranian drug cartels.
That is the actual role of government, to defend the country. If foreign nationals were violating American citizens in other ways, we would go to war. Yet, stealing our knowledge, tax money and income is accepted because the truth is never explained. The market is supported by a fair set of rules. Those rules are being violated and it is forcing Americans to live in fear.
working families. ObamaCare also discourages the innovative research that keeps humanity winning the race against disease. It goes without saying, but many of the people who read this post will have never been told that Americans are paying for the entire world's health care research and development. Until they hear it from three separate sources, they will not believe it. The best that can be done is present the truth and hope people allow themselves to start questioning what they have been told or not told.
Once everyone is engaged in the same free market, prices will fall. There will also be less rationale to prohibit the importation of prescription drugs as that policy is singularly designed to protect high domestic prices for our drug researchers and manufacturers. The free market is the answer, but it must have a fair playing field.
Who Are Our Friends In The Middle East? - Almost nobody, writes Andrew McCarthy in this excellent piece.
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