If every western nation eliminated their drug pricing systems and let manufacturers set a price that the “market will bear” it would allow drug companies to lower prices in the US and create a more fair and equitable price structure for all. That’s the sunshine-and-lollipops version of pharma’s message. Everyone else is cheating while America plays fair and it is America that is getting the short end of the stick. The only part of this that is true is America getting the short end of the stick. Not because every other country has some form of price regulation but because of the Wild West US drug pricing system.
If every other country dropped their national drug procurement systems and adopted an open system like the US, the only thing that would change is pharma’s bottom line. They would raise prices everywhere, gain tens of billions more in revenue and billions more people would be struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. Big Pharma has the American people trapped in a bubble. Americans are like a person stuck in a room from which they want to escape. There are dozens of doors all around them labelled “lower drug prices”. Yet each time they open the door, there’s a pharma representative blocking the way with a different excuse as to why they cannot go through. “These drugs COULD be counterfeit”, “buying prescriptions overseas hurts American jobs”, “these countries are the cause for high US drug prices”, “we need more R&D money”, and on and on.
So Americans are stuck in a paradox. They want lower prices for prescription drugs but oppose government regulation. With suggestions to negotiate drug prices also going nowhere there’s very little light on the horizon. A viable alternate option is personal prescription importation. Americans would have the ability to purchase prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada and save money while not having to impose government price restrictions. Millions of Americans have already turned to this option and have found drug price relief. But big pharma is trying to suppress this. They tell horror stories with little basis in fact about legitimate online pharmacies. Plus they work the other end by having their lobbyists pressure the government to shut down access to this important resource.
Congress is more amenable to prescription importation now than it ever has been. Yet the issue has been drowned out by all the noise surrounding the new health care bill and various congressional investigations. But it’s important for congress to know this issue is important to many Americans. Take a moment to contact your senator or congressman and tell them that prescription importation is important to you. Hopefully that will help keep big pharma’s massive war chest from stamping it out.