Letter: Tired of being ripped off
Price hikes on prescription drugs have become a top priority for many states, including Colorado. Currently, all Americans have been subjected to poor and loosely upheld FDA regulations, which essentially boil down to a quick glance if the drug is safe, then are carelessly passed off to health insurance companies to pick and choose their own prices.
The FDA simply reviews prescription drugs to see if they are safe to take. They don’t compare the prices of drugs that are imported and then sold.
Lawmakers in Colorado are beginning to take the first steps in building potentially monumental, life-saving options. The latest proposal is a bill that would require drug makers and insurance companies to submit detailed information to state regulators accounting for the prices of their most expensive medications and any sharp cost increases in the future. The latest prescription-drug proposal came in 2019 after Colorado became the first state to impose a cap on the price of insulin (thank you, Rep. Dylan Roberts), the cost of which has skyrocketed across the country, leading to widespread accusations of price-gouging on the part of large pharmaceutical companies.
Fast forward to 2021, another proposal, Senate Bill 21-123, has been offered as another effort to alleviate the pressure even more by expanding potential importation. The biggest issue on the economic side of pharmacology is the monopoly that has been created in America. Due to there only being a handful of powerful companies and poor application of drug importation within the government, American citizens are now at the mercy of people who are more concerned about their bank accounts than clients.
Opponents falsely claim that lowering drug prices will stop companies from developing new, lifesaving drugs. But drug companies reap some of the highest profits of any industry and take in worldwide revenue in excess of $1 trillion. Drug companies spend more on advertising than on researching and developing new medicines. The Washington Post reports that nine of the 10 largest drug companies spend more than twice as much on advertising than on research and development.
When it comes down to it, people are not truly paying for the drug itself; they are paying for advertising, importation, processing and storage. Prescription drugs simply cost too much, and patients are tired of being ripped off. This bill is important forward movement while saving people money on health care.
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