Pharma sees reform coming, so they raise prices now

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What will Pharma do to maximize profits? The answer isn't theoretical. It's happening right now.

Duff Wilson of the NYT reports:

Even as drug makers promise to support Washington's health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation's drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.

In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. That will add more than $10 billion to the nation's drug bill, which is on track to exceed $300 billion this year. By at least one analysis, it is the highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992.

The story includes input from Prof. Steve Schondelmeyer of the University of Minnesota, who, for 6 straight years, has given of his time to come and speak to my undergrad and graduate health journalism students on pharma and pharma pricing issues.

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Big pharma puts out drugs onto the market, with the knowledge of the FDA, that have dangerous side-effects and even kill thousands of people a year. They also keep raising prices far above inflation rates, bankrupting the US healthcare system.

The questions is: what can be done about it? Like big oil, which squashed the development of alternative energy sources for 30 invaluable years, and the military/industrial complex which continues to drain trillions of dollars from the American economy, the pharmaceutical companies are equally guilty of exploiting people's health and money.

What can, and is, being done about it?

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on November 17, 2009 12:21 PM.

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