So what are their lobbyists seeking in return? Well, one obvious thing is that pharmaceutical companies engage in outrageous pricing practices, particularly in the United States. Drugs cost far more in the States than they do in most other countries.
The companies also keep exclusive rights to manufacture new drugs for 20 years or more.
This despite the fact that drug price inflation is one of the main drivers of health care costs for individuals and families and threatens the fiscal health of our public health care programs.
The gap between what Americans and citizens of other countries pay for drugs is actually increasing. So, in response, many people started to buy their medications from sellers in other countries. Canada was particularly attractive for this purpose. What were the drug companies to do? With a push from their lobbyists, the practice of individuals importing their medications from Canada was made illegal.
The most important issue is distinguishing between drugs that are manufactured in the US from those which were manufactured elsewhere. Although technically ‘reimportation’ involves importing back drugs manufactured in the US, there are no means to check the originality of drugs. Similarly, it is difficult to determine whether the drugs purchased from other countries have the same dosage form, potency, and amount of active ingredient as the prescribed medication... The pharmaceutical industry criticizes the reimportation practice due to the potential harm to the recovery of the research and development (R&D) costs required for new drugs. While these opponents prevent the legalization of drug reimportation, various consumer advocacy groups support the practice.
Do you really believe that the only way to keep the program from going broke is to cut benefits and raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67?
Readers of this blog already know that I think that Big Pharma has purposely demonized this class of drugs by doing such things as grossly exaggerating its dangers of addiction. Benzo’s are just too cheap, safe, and effective for their tastes. They want you to buy their expensive and far more potentially toxic antipsychotics and other classes of medication if you need a sedative.
That drug combination is actually just about the only way that benzo’s can cause deaths, short of someone falling asleep in the bathtub like Whitney Houston or choking on the actual pills. Not to mention that most of the addicts who overdose get all their pills illegally anyway, so the law accomplishes absolutely nothing other than creating a problem for those who have a legitimate need for the medication, such as patients who have panic disorder.