Ha!! That's what I've been saying (about the pharmaceutical companies)!

On last night’s 60 Minutes they had a lady who is writing an expose’ about the pharm co’s and their american price gouging.
Everytime someone complains about it, the pharm co’s say “the expense is needed because it costs a lot to develop these drugs and for research to make new ones.”
The lady said what I’ve always thought: “This is pure blackmail.”

Thank you lady! (didn’t catch your name, but when your book comes out I’ll find it and buy it)
Yes, it costs a lot to produce high-tech drugs, but not enough to be charging americans double the price you charge everyone else in the world!

You evil bastards!

Then add to that the fact that the U.S. government is in bed with the pharmaceutical companies, and has the FDA prohibit people from getting their drugs from Canada or Mexico. With the rise of the Internet, and cheap overseas shipping, more and more people are finding alternate sources for their medications. Let’s let NAFTA rule in this area, and let everybody in the America’s comparison shop.

Thanks to Pfizer, who make the drug that let’s me get hard enough to yell “Fuck You, Pfizer!” :smiley:

Why isn’t our government taking the stance that buying products from other countries is all wonderful and great for the country’s economy? They’re telling us that the fact that our jobs are being shipped overseas is just ducky and we shouldn’t complain; isn’t this just more of the same philosophy, except now it’s the giant corporations getting the short end of the stick?

Ths leads me to wonder…

US drug company sells to Canadian Distributor.
Distributor sells to local drug store.
Local srug store sells to Americans.
At least three mark-ups and the shipping costs/travel costs.

Why in the hell do the US drug companies sell to Canada/Mexico so cheap?
Why not raise their prices for foreign sales and give us here at home a break.

What gives!!

I believe Canada has price controls on prescription drugs.

pugluvr-As always, when it’s the people getting fucked, it’s “good for business, pure capitalism, democracy at work, suck it up!” When it’s the businesses getting it, it’s a horrible, horrible thing.

Company ships labor overseas to make products cheaper.

Decide, “Hey, we can make EVEN MORE money jacking up the priced in the US, since US’ers can’t buy medication elsewhere, we control them! Hahaha! Dance puppets, dance!”

US’ers say screw you and buy medication in Canada or Mexico, or online.

Company looses money and whines to the government. Government makes it harder to get meds outside of country, but does nothing about price gouging.

Am I getting this correct?

I think the part missing in this equation is that little known fact that 90% of the research for new drugs is payed for with government grants. This means that we get to pay for that research twice. :rolleyes:

The thing that I find interesting is the contention by the drug companies that they can’t vouch for quality control if you get drugs from foreign countries. The implication being, of course, that the drugs they export aren’t safe enough for Americans, but they’re just fine for foreigners. Right.

It’s roughly equivalent to the Holden Monaro/Pontiac GTO fiasco going on right now. When they brought the Monaro over to the US they moved the gas tank “for safety purposes” in the GTO but left it alone for the Aussies.

There is an obvious disconnect between the corporations and the people that consume their products. I wonder why that is.

Every industrialized country has price controls on drugs, except for the US. Drug companies sell them at higher prices here because it’s the only place they can.

And how about this shameless[illegal] fucking TV advertising by the drug companies we have to endure ALL FUCKING NIGHT LONG these days. THe other night I was watching some network programming and all I saw was fucking drug commercials.

Drug commercials for limp penises, small penises, tired penises, bored penises, bored vaginas, unmotivated vaginas, depressed vaginas…hell most of the fucking[illegal] commercials don’t even describe their need, purpose, or how to get them.

Damn I’m tired of them.


Just out of curiosity, why are drug advertisements illegal? I never heard that before.

Sounds like you might suffer from insomnia. I’m sure we can find a drug that’ll fix you right up. :wink:

[sub]So does this mean I should quit my job at the Eeevil PharmaCo?[/sub]

Furlibusea wrote:

Do you have a cite for that?

That’s because it’s not true.

[Pharmaceutical employee sneaking in…]

It’s not so much the pharmas that can’t vouch for it (though I have no doubt pharmas jump on this as another reason to ban re-importation), it’s the FDA that has to ensure the quality of imported drugs. To recertify all (or even a representative sample) of the drugs that would be coming back across the border would require a ton of personnel. I don’t think the FDA’s budget at the moment allows for that kind of resource drain; I wonder if their attitude about it would change if they were given the money and the people to do it effectively. And I doubt their worry is focused on U.S.-made drugs… they’re more worried about the tablets of floor wax (for example) that make it across the border in the packaging of U.S. pharmaceuticals.

Why can’t they certify drugs to a high standard, kinda like food makers have to meet the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture? I can’t imagine that Canada’s standards are any lower than ours. It should be easy enough to get a single approving authority, or some sort of cooperative agreement.

You’d think. I see how long it takes to get things done within my own company, for the simple fact that anything we do that affects product is regulated to the nth degree… I’d hate to see representatives from companies and multiple governments trying to agree on anything.

It’s the price part of the debate that really interests me, though. People keep saying offhandedly, like it’s an accepted fact, that it doesn’t really cost that much to develop new drugs… and then the manufacturing part of it is cheap. From what I know from where I work, that just is not true. What I want to see is a real detailed analysis of the numbers. By company, even. If gouging is going on, who’s doing it, and for how much money?

Oh, I’m sure it costs a considerable amount to create new drugs, and then they have to protect their patents from corporate theft, but there are two solutions to that.

  1. The Microsoft/Sony/Philips solution: License the product out but maintain the proprietary information rights, and then collect the fees until the patent runs out.

  2. The Economy-Of-Scale solution: Sell a boatload of it at reasonable prices and take away the incentive to copy it. The RIAA could learn a little something from this as well. :wink:

See, the thing is that this isn’t like the old oil trusts. Any idiot can find oil in his backyard if he’s lucky, and thus be independent of the monopolists. This is fundamentally different because it requires skilled chemists, high-tech laboratories, and lengthy testing, which is not something you can do in your kitchen. We are held hostage by the specialization of the field, and so the drug companies can gouge the consumers at will, long after they’ve recouped their investments and collected substantial profits, simply because they know that nobody else can duplicate what they create.

Airman Doors

That’s pretty much what they do. FDA doesn’t test anything that I know of; they rely on periodic inspections to keep things ship-shape. The number of drug companies, factories, and suppliers in the U.S. (not to mention all the food producers that FDA also regulates) vastly outstrips what FDA can hope to keep tabs on.

You’d think so. But between entrenched bureaucracies, genuine scientific and clinical disagreement, and drug company lobbying, true agreement is nigh impossible. To certify re-imported drugs would require FDA to inspect and issue permits for hundreds of foreign warehouses, repackagers, and shippers. Remember, those drugs initially imported into Canda or Mexico are labeled for sale in those countries. To legally re-import them requires relabelling for sale in the U.S. As far as FDA is concerned, that’s an entirely new drug.


Nonsense. It’s possible that 90% of new drugs are discovered by research done under government grants, but the vast majority of drug research is formulation development, bioavailability testing, toxicology testing, clinical testing, stability testing, market testing, and research into possible new indications. In addition to paying for all of this THEMSELVES, drug companies also fund basic research which may lead to new drugs or new markets. Most of this research will fail, but it still needs to be paid for.

I am not an expert in this field, nor do I know much about the US, price gouging, or even the “to consumer” parts of the pharmaceutical industry.

Regarding this question, though: there are basically 3 standards out there for quality testing of pharmaceutical products: The United States Phamacoepeia, The European one, and the Japanese one (USP, EP, JP). The FDA relies on the USP to set it’s minimum standards for drug quality/production etc. In most cases, something that passes the USP requirement will also pass the EP and JP ones, though not always. Since the US can’t possibly regulate Europe and Japan, the FDA can’t say a word about those two Pharmacoepeias. So, a product developped in Europe for european usage will only be required to meed the EP standards, not the USP ones. Companies wanting to market in Canada and the United States need to spend extra money to get them USP certified.

Canada follows the USP standards, and, in fact, many US pharmaceuticals are made in Canada (I worked for one of the major outsourcing companies in the country, I’ve tested the products myself!) The difference, though, is that the FDA can’t regulate canadian companies beyond ensuring that they meet US standards for US-bound products. Canada has it’s own regulatory body, the TPD (Therapeutic Products Directorate) which reviews the data like the FDA does in occasional audits. Basically, the TPD follows the FDA in most cases, but not in all of them (from what I understand, tylenol with 8mg codeine is available over the counter in Canada, but not in the US).

I guess it’s another case of each country or region wanting to retain control over the quality of the products entering their domain.

I have no idea if this post will be helpful in this discussion, as I kind of lost my train of thought and am having trouble getting it back!