Pharmaceutical monopoly, price fixing or just capitalism?posted Mon, 22 Mar 2010
United States Senator Kohl, Special Committee on Aging states “While I firmly believe that drug quality should not be sacrificed for cost, the large discrepancies in the cost of identical drugs cannot be explained by differences in production or manufacturing.” On March 16, 2010 Senator Kohl requested a response from six major pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, and Sanofi-aventis) to answer direct questions about the drug price discrepancies.
As an example, on February 10, 2010 the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) reduced the price of long established medicines by 40% with potential savings to consumers of up to $678.00 per year. See for yourself, by looking your prescriptions up on the IPHA website: http://www.checkthelist.ie. Brian Murphy, the Director of Commercial Affairs for IPHA stated:
“Recognizing the difficult position of the Irish economy and the tough decisions facing the Irish Government our member companies were willing to play their part in helping to reduce costs and prices. This initiative will significantly reduce costs for the State, and it will also reduce prices that patients pay directly for some of their medicines.“
Pharmaceutical manufactures have gone to great lengths to protect the high prices of their products in America. According to a report released on January 13, 2010 the United States Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said consumers are forced to pay inflated prices or forgo their medication because of these “pay-for-delay” deals, in which brand-name drug makers pay their generic competitors to keep cheaper alternatives off the market. “Pay-for-delay deals are a bad prescription for America: when drug companies agree not to compete, consumers lose,” Leibowitz said.
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