I found this wonderful letter by Carrol L. Fry in the Kansas City Star and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s in response to a syndicated column by a typically out-of-touch Washington pundit.
I read George Will’s hand-wringing column about the imminent demise of Medicare (2/7, Opinion, “Obama willing, Congress weak on entitlements”). Maybe if our government were willing to curb corporate welfare for the prescription drug companies, we could save a few billion.
I was shocked to find that my Medicare Plan D cost for one of my prescriptions, for both my co-pay and Medicare, was $392 for a 90-day supply, and another was $265 for 90 days. I checked prices at a Canadian pharmacy and found their price was $110 for the former and $200 for the latter for the same product.
I have heard all the special pleading from pharmaceutical companies about the cost of research being high. But does this mean that the U.S. is footing the bill for it while other countries regulate prices? Maybe, but I think we have a case of what Will euphemizes as “political free speech”” i.e. bribery of Congress.
Drug companies enjoy a monopoly on patented prescription drugs. We should regulate their prices.
Honestly, I am so tired of these rich Washington pundits trying to tell the American people what’s good for them. You know what would be good? Being able to afford the medications we need to live our lives with dignity.
And no — I’m not asking for a government handout, just as Carrol isn’t asking for a handout. We’re willing to pay for the medications we need.
All we’re asking is for the government not to stack the deck against us — not to continue making American consumers pay more for their drugs than the citizens of every other country in the developed world.
Not to let big drug companies control the FDA (the fox guarding the henhouse).
Not to let big drug companies have seemingly unending government-issued monopolies on the products they make.
Not to let them abuse these monopolies by raising prices to outrageous levels.
Is that too much to ask? I know for a fact that it isn’t.