16 People Talk About Truths That No One Really Wants To Admit

8. Steve Harris

That drug prices (even non-controlled drugs that the DEA doesn’t care about, like blood pressure pills) are at least twice as high in the US as anywhere else in the world, because your congress was bribed by the pharmaceutical lobby into setting up a system where third party drug imports are outlawed, and US companies are allowed to gouge the US consumer at will. It’s not a free market.

A drug like Lipitor, all of which is made in Ireland, costs Canadians half what it does Americans. It’s not made in the US. But US hospitals and pharmacies cannot legally buy the product once it reaches Canada.

It’s a wonderful example of why democracy sometimes does NOT work. If the representatives are corrupt, and nobody cares, and nobody will BELIEVE they got screwed, then “democracy” can deliver pure special-interest-serving public robbery.

The US is 4.5% of the world’s population but we are 47% of the entire global pharmaceutical market in sales (and you can see why!), while all of the EU (7% of the world’s people live in EU countries) are only 30% of global drug sales.

Since 2000, 66% of the sales of new medicines have been generated on the US market, as opposed to only 24% on the EU market. Again, you can see why. Although EU countries have 500 million people (60% more than the US), they pay prices for these things that are typically a third of US prices. So you can see why drug companies have fought to keep drug prices up in the US. This is half their profit, and each other individual country is just gravy.

Where do the profits go? Increasingly not US companies. The top 10 drugs by revenue in 2013 contain only 4 out of 10 US drugs: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade and Abilify. The profits from these are taxed as US corporate tax. The rest are not.

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