We are forced to pay outrageous drug prices that are the highest in the world. The big drug corporations or “Big Pharma” are very profitable. They get whatever they want from our government.

For example, in 2003, they got the Republicans to force Medicare to pay the full outrageous retail prices for drugs. Although far larger, Medicare gets no volume discounts like the VA gets.  This soaking of Medicare depletes the trust fund faster.

When Obamacare was put together, the Democrats did not change this. It’s not hard to see who too many of our elected representatives work for.

Here is basically how the drug companies gouge us:

  • They spend millions of dollars on campaign contributions (bribes?) every year. This is a double edged sword. First, they can use this money to influence elected officials. Second, they can also threaten to make campaign contributions to their opponents in the primaries and general election if they do anything that threatens the profits of Big Pharma.

  • The U.S and New Zealand are the only two countries to allow drug advertising. This influences the newspapers, magazines and TV. If they cover anything that Big Pharma doesn’t like, they risk losing advertising. Don’t expect to see much bad publicity in the media.

  • Drug advertising stimulates demand for drugs especially the drastically more expensive name brand drugs that the drug companies hold monopolies on.

  • This makes the U.S. the heaviest user of drugs in the world. Thus we have the most addictions to pain killers and adverse drug reactions that kill hundreds of thousands. This does not get much publicity for reasons mentioned above. Occasionally, a big story like Vioxx will get coverage, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • Advertising cons Americans into believing that drugs are the best way to deal with illness. Healthy lifestyle changes are often far better and not potentially dangerous. There is no money in advertising that.

  • They give grants to medical schools. Is it any wonder that prevention and natural healing are rarely even a small part of the curriculum? Drugs are a big part of the curriculums. Surprise!

  • They have army of salespersons who visit doctors often after graduation until they retire. They are not above giving “gifts” to those doctors who will take them.

  • They use many legal shenanigans to extend monopolies (a whole subject in itself) and cripple competition from generics.

There are books pointing out and documenting all of the above and much more. Thanks to campaign contributions nothing much is done about all of it. And we pay for it.

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