@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.”
@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.
@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.
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.
@[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.
@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.
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.
@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.
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 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