[Ip-health] Drug prices too high? Many blame pharma companies

Baker, Brook b.baker at neu.edu
Wed Jun 17 05:27:23 PDT 2015


Once again PhRMA shows it has no shame in making specious, illogical
statement designed to confuse rather than elucidate:

"And he [Robert Zirkelbach, PhRMA spokesperson] also noted how the design
of a health plan by insurers can lead to customers directly paying for a
greater share of drug costs than they previously did in the form of higher
deductibles, co-payments and co-payments.

"What we know and what the data show is that patients are getting asked to
pay an ever-greater share of their medicine costs," Zirkelbach said. "It's
no wonder that patients feel that their medicine costs are going up and
up.""

Contrary to this ridiculous statement, patients always pay for higher
medicines costs through employer, employee, and private insurance premiums
and through tax payments that enable government purchases.  Not only are
out-of-pocket co-payments and deductibles going up, but so are insurance
premiums and state and federal government medicines costs as both
consumers and payers struggle to keep up with Big Pharma's insatiable
thirst for monopoly profits, squeezing every last cent out the health
system that they can.

According to Krikelbach, and every other PhRMA spokeperson, the
justification for unconscionable prices is the cost of R&D.  If Big Pharma
so desperately needs money for R&D, why do they spend far more on
marketing than they do on R&D?  How come the pharmaceutical industry still
earns leader-of-the-pack after-R&D profits.  How can they continue, with a
straight face, to use bloated and discredited figures from apologists at
Tufts that ignore tax subsidies, overstate costs of clinical trials, and
double the estimate with imaginary opportunity costs?

Professor Brook K. Baker
Northeastern U. School of Law
Affiliate, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
416 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115 USA
Honorary Research Fellow, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, S. Africa
Senior Policy Analyst Health GAP (Global Access Project)
NGOs Board Member UNITAID
(w) 617-373-3217
(cell) 617-259-0760
(fax) 617-373-5056
skype: brook_baker
b.baker at neu.edu




On 6/16/15 6:09 PM, "Tahir Amin" <tahir at i-mak.org> wrote:

>And he also noted how the design of a health plan by insurers can lead to
>customers directly paying for a greater share of drug costs than they
>previously did in the form of higher deductibles, co-payments and
>co-payments.
>
>"What we know and what the data show is that patients are getting asked to
>pay an ever-greater share of their medicine costs," Zirkelbach said. "It's
>no wonder that patients feel that their medicine costs are going up and
>up."





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