29 January 2017

Drug Prices in the US vs. Canada - The Big Pharma Political Connection of Corporatist Democrats

This is a slide used by Bernie Sanders when he proposed making drug imports from Canada to the US legal.

The proposal was voted down in the Senate 52-46, with a few key Democrats helping overturn Bernie's proposed legislation.

Among those voting against it was the recipient of big pharma campaign contributions Democratic rising star Cory Booker.

Booker used the Big Pharma talking point that 'the bill did not include provisions requiring the protections of the FDA.'

Oh really?  We think that the Canadian government's regulation of medicine is weaker than in the US?   Please, Cory, tell us exactly where they fall down on the job.

And oh by the way, most it not all of those drugs are the same drugs being sold in the US by the same manufacturers, so the point could be moot.  Just allow the imports of drugs the FDA has already approved.

But a real solution, which appears to be far too much for our pampered plutocrats, would be to repeal the US law that prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices as is done by the government health services in Canada. But I would not expect the US political establishment to seriously consider overturning that sweet monopoly deal with the drug companies.

Not as long as Big Pharma can keep holding that SG&A level around 45 percent, compared to 25 percent or less of most other industries.  There is a lot of money being spent there to motivate doctors and lawmakers in the drug industry.

And then there is the 'balance billing' racket where hospitals toss in enormous zingers to your medical bills by using doctors and test labs that are not in your network, for which you get little to no insurance coverage, or insanely high deductibles.  And you have no knowledge of their choice in advance.

New York state has passed a ban on this.  But most other states have not.

The current US healthcare system is like a protection racket.  It is dominated by monopolist behemoths, in the providers and the insurers, and sustained by huge amounts of public relations and their paid functionaries in the media and the Congress.

It is the most expensive healthcare system in the developed nations.  And that is largely due to corruption and a twisting of the laws due to the influence of Big Money in lawmaking and regulation.