Rx Drugs Set to Possibly Become Much Less Expensive in America
The fact that many types of medications tend to be prohibitively expensive for the working class in America is old news. That doesn’t take any part of the sting off of it for those who do struggle to afford the drugs they need. The most common narratives on this usually are around insulin for diabetics. While that is huge issue for literally hundreds of thousands of American diabetics there’s many other people who are having the same concerns over equally necessary meds for themselves or their children.
Talk in the news regarding prescription medications nowadays tends to all be related to COVID-19. In particular, how the USA has purchased the entire world supply of Remdesivir as a potential treatment for the viral infection. However, not lost in the noise at all was US President Donald Trump’s signing four executive orders on Friday-July 24, 2020 that he is promising will lower the costs for prescription drugs in America. For anyone looking for lower prices on drugs in America, it has the potential to be good news but it’s best to look at this with cautious optimism.
That suggestion is based on the fact that the pharmaceutical industry in America has many different mechanisms it can rely on to remain extremely profitable for manufacturers, shareholders, and the executives behind them. This isn’t to suggest that good won’t come of this and many people will be lauding the president for taking this step. However, even the least astute observer is going to note there’s more than a little timeliness to this move on behalf of the President.
Meds From Up North
The first of the President’s executive orders on prescription drugs is going to make possible the legal import of more inexpensive drugs from Canada. This is something that has been on the radar for many Americans for a long time now but hasn’t been the simplest of processes to date. Ordering online medicine from Canada does allow Americans to get better prices on drugs. Up until now (and perhaps beyond – again, best to not get your hopes up too high) there’s still been plenty of obstacles in place with that.
We’ll get to the other 3 of the White House executive orders here in a moment. The reason we say to temper your expectations about this if you’re one of the people who want a solution to why drugs are so expensive in America is because – as you might imagine – the pharmaceutical industry is not happy about all of this. The industry says these moves are a “reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic – and those we might face in the future.”
Did we mention timeliness? Can we add timely deflection to that?
This article here may be nearly 20 years old, but it’s still totally relevant today as to both why protectionism in the pharmaceutical industry exists, why it has a very vested interest in continuing unchecked, and – perhaps most importantly – why it’s so harmful.
Less for the ‘Middlemen’
It’s well established that a big part of the high cost of drugs in America is the way the production and dispensing / purchasing chain involves a great many intermediaries that exist between the manufacturer and the pharmacist who dispenses your medication. The second of President Trump's measures has the aim of taking the discounts these middlemen enjoy and passing them on to the end consumers.
Now you may be thinking– shouldn’t that have been the way it always was? No one’s saying you shouldn’t be making a buck, but making a buck on the backs of others who have no choice but to spend it when they really can’t afford to isn’t right.
Good News for Diabetics
Number three is to promote lower prices on insulin in America. This is desperately needed given the fact that A) there are literally hundreds of thousands of diabetics in America, and B) unchecked blood glucose levels can lead to major life-threatening health risks. These people have no choice but to purchase insulin, and for some people, this need to purchase life-maintaining meds they can’t afford has led some diabetics to try to move to Canada to have access to more affordable insulin.
The fourth and final of the President’s executive orders on prescription drugs in the USA is to require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay. While this has the potential to be very beneficial and no doubt sounds very good, it is important to remember that any such move will still do nothing to prevent the Medicare system from charging higher premiums in response to this.
That is also a reflection of an industry that is geared entirely for profit. Not one that has roots in the benefits of healthcare for a functioning society as is the environment in other countries. The pharmaceutical industry is one that has a long history of looking out for itself and its shareholders with little in the way of flexibility. However, one can still hope that maybe this is a sign that things are set to change.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.