Large American pharmaceutical companies cannot have it both ways

Large American pharmaceutical companies must decide which end of the drug development / delivery to patent pipeline they wish the American taxpayer to subsidize. They cannot have it both ways.

First, let me say that there has been a free-for all demonization of the drug companies or the more pernicious appellation Big Pharma. Large pharmaceutical companies provide jobs, support community services and charities. They provide the drugs and treatments that save lives and make lives better and longer. The very people for whom they provide political financial support have demonized them. Such portrayals and rank hypocrisy serve no noble purpose, no public good.

That said, it is not the place of the American taxpayer to underwrite the cost of prescription drugs for the very socialized healthcare countries that mock our healthcare model, and us as well, while at the same time to become the victims of cost shifting by the very drug companies whose product creation we subsidize. Simply put, if large American pharmaceutical companies are writing off the considerable expense and risk of research and development of a new drug against their profit, then they should not be allowed to raise the cost of those same drugs to the American public to cover the lower prices they willingly accept from the aforementioned socialized countries. In essence, Peter is being robbed to pay Paul. In the United States, we should not be paying more than any government of a socialized healthcare country pays for the same medications, especially if we underwrote the development of that same medication.

If such medically socialized countries wish to have first-line drugs and treatments accessible to their citizenry, then they must be willing to pay more for the superior product or risk having even higher mortality rates and greater productivity loses from the resultant deaths and illness that would follow the loss of up-to-date treatment.

The American people should no longer pay twice for the privilege of suffering insult from the mouths of those very people they subsidize.

Mitchell Brooks is an orthopedic surgeon and the host of Health of the Nation on Talk Radio 570 KLIF in Dallas, Texas.  He blogs at Health of the Nation.

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