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Monday, June 18, 2007

Prescription Drug Dilema

We all know that the same prescription drug in Canada and Mexico costs less than it does in the USA. It does not make sense that a capitalistic society would allow this to happen. You would think that America would allow a price war and let the best business win.

The USA does have very good prescription drugs and good new drugs which prolong life and add to the quality of life. Drug companies say that if the system were changed they would not be able to afford the research and development of these new 'miracle drugs'.

The Veterans Administration is allowed to purchase major prescription drugs in bulk and negotiate for a lower rate. As a result, the VA is very good with prescription drug benefits through good access to drugs at a low rate. Congress wants medicare to have the ability to do the same thing, but the drug lobby does not allow this to happen.

If we want to keep the cost of health care down, the prescription drugs are a major place to start. We could possibly put a limit on the patents available to allow generics to be produced earlier. Many drug companies get government subsidies for the research and development, so it is possible that we could tie the subsidies with rules for shorter patents.

Any change will have to be done against the wishes of the very large and powerful drug companies in Washington DC. Health insurance rates would come down along with the cost of health care if something significant is done about the alarming cost of prescription drugs.

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