I mean, come on! You want to know why the United States has a healthcare price problem, this is a prime example! This week, Turing Pharmaceuticals and a former hedge fund manager named Martin Shkreli purchased the rights to the parasitic infections drug named Daraprim. You can guess what happened next, Martin raised the price of the drug a whopping 5,000%! A drug that only cost $13.50 per tablet suddenly became $750 per tablet. The New York Times were the ones to report on this, and it immediately made the internet angry. Shkreli said the profits will be used to educate doctors about the disease, improve delivery, and develop more effective drugs. But come on, who is going to buy that argument? Even other companies in the pharmaceutical industry thought there was something fishy going on!
Now, this company is having so much internet and public outrage, but the company and hedge fund manager is standing firm. I am sad this is happening, because with this huge price increase, Medicaid and Medicare will struggle badly under the high costs. People might have to choose between medicine and food. And hospitals might have to struggle with the high costs of a simple medicine. People should not have to shell out their life savings to receive treatments so they can live, that should be never happening in the United States. And now, even some of the campaign trail are proposing ideas to lower the costs of prescription drugs.
One idea would allow Americans to purchase the same drugs in Canada, where the prices are a lot cheaper. Another idea would allow Medicare to negotiate with companies on drug costs and pharmaceutical companies. Another idea would cap monthly out-of-pocket costs at $250 and lower the monopoly marketing period for biologics, a costly new class of drugs, from 12 to seven years. No matter what, something must happen, because this price increase is not being done because of educating doctors or funding research, it’s only being done because of greed, or profits for shareholders.
Maybe the big elephant in the room is not the people who run the pharmaceutical companies; it’s the shareholders who are demanding profits and good figures. Maybe it’s time for the United States to force the pharmaceutical companies to leave Wall Street, and go private again. I am sure these companies make plenty of money already, in 2014 alone Americans spent $374 billion on medicine, a 13 percent increase from the last year. I believe without the pressures of shareholders and the folks on Wall Street to produce profits, which means you jack the prices up to meet the demands of the people on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical companies will not have to worry about making people suffer with out of control drug costs.
It is time to deal with skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs and runaway prescription drug prices in the United States! The only reason why drug costs are going out of control is because of Wall Street. Leave Wall Street pharmaceutical companies, and quit making the people suffer. You have become greedy enough already!