If you don’t believe that Big Pharma has a stranglehold on the U.S. government, maybe this will convince you: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has now officially admitted that pharmaceutical companies have been granted a monopoly that allows them to charge whatever they want for the drugs they manufacture and sell to the American public.
On August 23, the JAMA published a study conducted by two Harvard doctors and an expert in pharmacoeconomics titled “The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States: Origins and Prospects for Reform”.
The goal of the study was to “review the origins and effects of high drug prices in the US market and to consider policy options that could contain the cost of prescription drugs.”
The study was prompted by concerns over drug prices that affect “patients, prescribers, payers, and policy makers.”
The researchers concluded that:
“High drug prices are the result of the approach the United States has taken to granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers, combined with coverage requirements imposed on government-funded drug benefits.“
These are not free-market principles at work
While the authors recognized the fact that developing new drugs can be very expensive and that there is nothing wrong with generating a profit, this monopoly allows them to charge ridiculously-inflated prices, making them billions of dollars while patients and insurance providers struggle under the burden:
“Although prices are often justified by the high cost of drug development, there is no evidence of an association between research and development costs and prices; rather, prescription drugs are priced in the United States primarily on the basis of what the market will bear.”
In other words, Big Pharma is taking advantage of its privileged government-granted monopolistic status to gouge Americans who have been convinced that these often ineffective and dangerous drugs are necessary to their health, and that they must cough up the money…or else.
Meanwhile, natural medicine practitioners are being demonized (and even criminalized) by the feds for offering inexpensive, safe and effective alternatives to these drugs – even more evidence of Big Pharma’s influence over the very agencies that are supposed to protect our health and welfare.
Instead, the FDA – at the behest of the drug manufacturers – is trying to eliminate all competition, not just that of rival drug companies who might offer similar drugs at reduced prices.
Obviously, if the JAMA has finally admitted there is a problem, then indeed there must be one.
The recent cases of drug companies suddenly hiking prices as much as several hundred percent has generated such outrage that even the medical establishment can no longer deny the fact that our government has completely sold out to the big drug manufacturers.
As The Free Thought Project pointed out, an example of one of the most “staggering discrepancies” involving U.S. drug prices is the case of the Hep C drug called Solvaldi, which was developed by Gilead and will cost American patients as much as $84,000:
“In India, however, Gilead has to compete in a free market. Competitors, of which there a many, using the older, much cheaper, and equally effective drug, have driven the price down to a mere $4 a pill.”
Back in the good ol’ U.S.A., however, Gilead has an FDA-granted monopoly on Solvaldi, which allows the company to charge an obscene amount of money for the treatment, and many of those suffering from Hep C see this drug as their only hope.
In other words, Gilead is essentially saying “pay up or die.”
A government-sponsored, mafia-style extortion racket
Although the JAMA study offers some useful recommendations towards breaking up these monopolies, it is doubtful that they will be implemented unless enough of us let our government know that we are not going to put up with this mafia-style extortion racket any longer.
One tactic is to vote out those in Washington who accept money from Big Pharma interests. Another is to sign this petition.
This has gone on long enough.