Why do Americans pay so much more for prescription drugs?

Boy, Big Pharma is good.

They repeat the same story again and again and pretty soon the media is repeating it again and again, too. Forget digging, researching, checking for yourself — none of the conventional techniques of journalism seem to be powerful enough to withstand Big Pharma’s daily drip-drip-drip propaganda stream.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Big Pharma’s bought-and-paid-for Washington politicians have been taught to spout the same fictions as well.

On the issue of the safety of buying drugs from Canadian pharmacies, the clear and indisputable facts are (1) Canada’s drug approval standards are as good, if not better, than those of the United States, and (2) no American has ever been harmed by ordering drugs online from a licensed Canadian pharmacy.

And yet, Big Pharma lies and lies and lies until actual journalists buy into their nonsense.

The same is true on the issue of high drug prices. Facts are facts, and the fact is that Americans pay a premium of about 67 percent for prescription drugs compared to residents of the rest of the world, according to PharmaTimes. There is no country in the world where residents pay as much for drugs as we are forced to pay in the United States.

Now, common sense would lead you to believe that we’re being ripped off — wouldn’t it?

Amazingly, however, the drip-drip-drip of Big Pharma disinformation has been just as effective with the price issue as with the safety issue.

Since Big Pharma knows that Americans love our freedom, and cherish (at least until recently) our free market economy, they blame the rest of the world — those socialists in Europe and elsewhere — for America’s high drug prices. They say that the rest of the world imposes price controls on drugs, which forces poor Big Pharma to charge Americans more in order to fund research and development on new medications.

And drip-drip-drip, it gets reported as fact by one news organization after another.

Oh, brother. Do you really think Big Pharma would sell drugs to the rest of the world if they weren’t making a lot of money doing it? Of course they wouldn’t. They’re doing just fine.

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They’re just not making the obscene profits that they make in the United States.

Now then: do you really think Big Pharma is making obscene profits because America has a free market system? Well, if you took economics in school, one of the first things you’d learn is that an unobstructed free market tends to push down prices over time. So if this were really a free market economy when it came to drug prices, wouldn’t you assume that competition would emerge and ultimately drug prices would come down to a level that people could afford?

Well, yes, they would come down — if drug prices were actually determined by the market. But they’re not.

In truth, our government is very involved in setting the drug prices you pay. They are involved because of a patent system that allows drug companies to have monopolies on the drugs they produce — and that allows these companies to extend their monopolies virtually indefinitely by gaming the system. This gives Big Pharma all the power in establishing prices — and the consumer none.

It’s a wink-wink nod-nod system, with an FDA that has been completely defanged by “pro-market” politicians and completely corrupted by Big Pharma’s money.

Guess what? Monopolies aren’t “pro-market,” they’re anti-market.

Not only that, monopolies are un-American.

America is about competition. Let the drug companies compete — not only with Canada but with each other — and our skyrocketing drug prices will come down to earth, and fast.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

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0 thoughts on “Why do Americans pay so much more for prescription drugs?

  • Cliff Rocque says:

    The primary reason we pay such high prices is that we are too willing to go along with the status quo. We need to kick our representatives in congress in the pants, stop playing nice and demand what the rest of the consumers get, lower prices. We do get the kind of government we deserve, we are afraid to stand up for the things that are truly important. Our representatives in Congress are being bribed by big business, there is no other way to put it. When large pharmaceutical companies wine ,dine and entertain around the world the members of Congress they are legally or otherwise, bribing them and we’re paying for it. Demand change and follow up until you get it.

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