Sick people must have access to medical care and that includes prescription medication.
You may have heard about the pharmaceutical company that recently acquired a drug called Daraprim, which is a 62-year-old drug, used to treat toxoplasmosis. The disease can be life threatening to some babies and some people with HIV and cancer.
The pharmaceutical company known as Turing paid $55 million to acquire the drug from Impax laboratories. The price of the drug was then raised from $13.50 a pill to $750. A firestorm broke out and the company CEO Martin Shkreli who increased the price is reported to have responded to the protests. He announced the price would be reduced. There have been no reports by Shkreli as to how much it would be reduced.
Americans aren't opposed to drug companies making money. We want companies to be profitable so they can hopefully invest in research and develop a cure for cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and on and on.
Can you imagine what Martin Shkreli would do if he could get his hands on the cure for cancer? He would make it so expensive that we would have to sell our houses and borrow every penny we could borrow in order to have access to the drug. CEOs like Shkreli are scary greedy Americans who are out to become richer at the expense of the sick and dying.
Many of us want less government in America's corporations and in our personal lives. Yet companies such as Turing sound the alarm that something must be done to regulate the pharmaceutical industry.
Many years ago my first wife was declining from multiple sclerosis. Her insurance company, which reconfigured and purged a lot of sick people from their rolls, dropped her coverage. New drugs were just coming on the scene but the cost for some of them was over $1,000 a month and they were not covered by Medicare, which is the only medical coverage she could eventually obtain. This was about 20 years ago and $1,000 a month for one prescription was way over our heads financially.
I understand drug companies have to make money and cover the cost of research. I also understand that sick people need medicine and often are limited in what they can afford.
Today we have Obamacare but Americans are discovering the Affordable Care Act doesn't pay for everything. People are finding out that even with coverage that they can still end up with lots of unaffordable medical bills.
It's time for drug companies to be approved in Canada. This will require more government inspection and oversight. However, Americans need an option before our own drug companies financially bleed us to death.
Greed is king in this country. Our colleges and universities are in this same category. They've gone crazy paying some college presidents up to a $1 million or more a year in salary. They keep raising tuition relying on federal dollars and taxes to keep them afloat. Enough is enough. It's time to make the first year of community colleges free for all Americans. I realize this is another article.
The American people, Medicare, Obamacare, and all the insurance companies can't afford an increase of one pill from $13.50 to over $700. By the way, it's time for us to make drug lobbyists illegal in our nation's Capital. Our congressmen and senators aren't going to help us as long as their campaign funds continue to be enriched by the drug companies.
Sick people need medical care and medicine, not a pharmaceutical nightmare.
Glenn Mollette, an syndicated columnist and author, is the author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view this paper or media source.