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Is America great again?


Remember had to buy antibiotics for my (back then) girl friend, they asked. $75 for the type I knew costed about $7 in Sweden without insurance!

This is just sick and criminal. Still don't understand that there hasn't been no low cost medical company selling products not covered by pharmaceutical patents?

#politics #healthcare #economy #fraud #UniversalHealthcare
..there are a goodly number of folks who are traveling to Mexico - those that can - to buy products at more reasonable rates....have heard of this among some diabetics...
dt diaspora
@Jim Douglas I am sure the generic manufacturers in Canada would gladly step up supply for the demand. I am convinced that scarcity fear mongering is the great limiter on these debates.
We've bought the fish antibiotics before. We've never ever owned a fish. #truth
@Violante de Rojas Living near the border, I can confirm that many make the trip across the border for drugs. I know some personally. People that have no other choice as they don't have any insurance, much less pharmaceutical insurance.
...and I happen to know that some folks in PA are buying insulin on one persons med insurance at a certain price for certain friends, because medicaid/medicare costs too much - same type of insulin, same amt...exact same brand.
@[email protected] That turns out not to be the case. A relatively small number of Americans driving across the border to buy drugs from Canadian pharmacies is manageable, but wholesale exports of Canadian pharmaceuticals to the U.S. isn’t possible; a country of 37 million can’t fix the supply problems for a country of 330 million. We already manage scarcity for our own population, and we don’t manufacture most drugs here; they’re imported from overseas.

There are numerous factors that can lead to drug shortages in this country, including a lack of chemicals in the manufacturing supply chain, pharmaceutical companies discontinuing certain drugs, global demand for drugs, lower prices for generics and even changes in clinical guidelines.

Another reason is that Canada no longer has a viable drug manufacturing industry, meaning we buy almost all of our drugs overseas, making us extremely vulnerable to supply changes in those countries.

“Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturing has tanked over the last decades and we, like the Americans, buy our drugs from other companies offshore,” said Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, a medical historian and drug shortages expert at Queen’s University.

“What the Americans need to do is what we do — and that is negotiate better prices from the European, Indian and Chinese companies that we’re buying from. All of us.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/drug-shortage-canada-us-import-1.5336224
dt diaspora
@Jim Douglas I thought we manufactured the drugs it was the case a few years (decades) ago. In any case if the insulin market in the US crashed that much in the US the American authorities would put a stop to it. It is ignored as long as it is a trickle.
....it's not a trickle...
Insulin is some expensive stuff. I use Humalog Insulin, which my insurance paperwork says has a list price of (US) $282.20 per 10 mL vial.

That works out to just over $106,825 (US) per gallon or $282,202 (US) per liter.

For the price of one liter of the liquid that keeps me alive, I could buy a decent house here in Ohio.

Granted, it would take me about 7 years to go through a liter of insulin.

But think about that, seriously. In SEVEN YEARS, I will go through enough insulin to pay for a fucking house that costs more than the one I now live in (and will be paying off for over 25 more years).

(Granted, I don't pay that much, since I have insurance. and honestly, my insurance doesn't pay that much either. Because special pricing rules and other shady-as-fuck stuff.)
Yes. Yes it is.
@Charles M The supreme irony is that the patent for insulin was sold to University of Toronto for a dollar in 1923 in order to make sure it would be available.
Yeah. I know. I get pissed off every time I think about that little irony.
There is an Open Insulin Project; I hope they succeed!
dt diaspora
@Charles M It does not cost anywhere near that. The cost of medicine has little bearing on it's pricing. Insulin was developed in 1922. The cost of the actual medication is peanuts and could be produced easily by the vat. It is perceived scarcity.
dt diaspora
Here is the cost:

Put another way, the study estimated the cost of production for a vial of human insulin is between $2.28 and $3.42, while the production cost for a vial of most analog insulins is between $3.69 and $6.16, according to the study in BMJ Global Health.

https://www.businessinsider.com/insulin-prices-could-be-much-lower-and-drug-makers-would-still-make-healthy-profits-2018-9
Apparently the drug companies keep tweaking their insulin formulas to extend their patent protection.

https://www.vox.com/2019/4/3/18293950/why-is-insulin-so-expensive
@[email protected] Every January, I get to pay full price for one month's worth of insulin. That usually is enough to pay down my deductible, but that one time is over (US) $1400 each time. Yes. it DOES IN FACT "cost anywhere near that."

It is significantly cheaper once I pay my deductible and my insurance kicks in. But January? Yeah, that sucks.

It costs "anywhere near that" if you don't have insurance or if your insurance is horrible. Which basically means it costs "anywhere near that" if you can't get a job with benefits.

Benefits.
My life literally depends on my ability to keep a job that provides health insurance as a perquisite. You know, like some folks get free coffee at their jobs, or free snacks, or Christmas bonuses. Me? I work because it keeps me from being dead within two to three months.

This isn't just a hypothetical for me and many like me. This is real. This is expensive. And diabetics die every year because they can't afford to pay the drug companies their extortion money.

So please, do not ever suggest that a medicine or medical treatment "does not cost anywhere near that" because yes, it in fact does cost that or near that for a significant number of people.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Our refusal to implement a universal healthcare system in this country is barbaric and evil. Any nation that has the means to provide for the health of its citizens but chooses not to is evil. Period. Full stop. No exceptions.
The production costs may be peanuts. But that's immaterial to the price people pay at the pharmacy. See also literally every plastic toy ever produced in China and sold in America.
dt diaspora
@Charles M
The difference is COST and PRICE. You can split hairs if you like. But the price you pay does not equal the cost of the commodity. If you want the ecenomics of it... The manufacturers know that the elasticity of the commodity is low. Inuslin has a very finite shelf life and people die without it. So therefore they can conceivably set the price so that they can limit production and make the maximum profit.

Now limiting production means introducing scarcity. It also means some die but the chances of those people being genuinely profitable are nil. So they do not care.

Yes toys are in this category. But nobody dies if they do not get the newest Obiwan Doll.
Either way, that price is what we diabetics have to pay. Your comment about not paying anywhere near that doesn't pan out in the real world, regardless of cost vs price. It's the price that determines, in large part, whether we live or die.

And that isn't splitting hairs.
I used the words "price" and "cost" interchangeably, because quite frankly it doesn't matter at all what it costs Eli Lilly or produce my insulin. It only matters what they charge me to buy it. MY cost can go as high as $282 per 10 mL vial. Don't know or care what it actually costs them to produce it. Just that it can cost me that much to buy it. Their price is my cost.
dt diaspora
@Charles M Which is exactly the reason for this post. Eli Lilly should not decide which Americans should live and which die. That the the crux of Medicare for all. If Eli Lilly charged $50 a vial that would be a huge markup. They have no legs to stand on in this.

Capitalism does in some cases work but in these cases it does not pure and simple.
..the problem with the prices folks pay is because the Phama will say 'yeah, it costs me less than 10$ per 10mL vial, but I refuse to take anything less than 200$ per vial...!!'

And the US Gov't AND most Insurance Companies response is 'Okay, whatever' .....but they pay only $15 and bill the rest of the amt demanded to the insured
Several companies make drugs. The government should negotiate the price and protect the quality, then pass that on to the patients at cost. That way a powerful entity (government) works with a powerful entity (pharma) on a more even playing field. Expecting patients to work with pharma is ludicrous. The power differential is too large to expect any semblance of equity or fair play.
Farhad diaspora
Why no one is creating an Amazon like online pharmacy to sell drugs at low cost, they will have enough buying power with say 5-20 million customers to negotiate lower prices?
dt diaspora
@Samuel Smith Agreed but current US Law forbid government to negotiate Drug prices.
@Farhad: they exist. They're illegal in the US. The US customs service confiscates and destroys packages containing prescription medicine.
@farhad amazon is trying to do exactly that - but the market and laws in the US have been carefully designed for decades to prevent anyone from breaking the stranglehold of the US medical and insurance companies