Term Paper: Healthcare Making Prescription Drugs Affordable?

Pages: 3 (1456 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Medicine  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This medical insurance was typically financed in whole or in part by an individual's employer. As healthcare costs continued to rise, many corporate and municipal employers were forced to either cut back on, or eliminate, their contributions to their employees' insurance. It is to avoid precisely this circumstance that Mayor Albano, and others like him, have looked to reimportation.

However, while taking into account the affordability of good quality medical care, reimportation, as it is currently being practiced, does not take into account the other argument of the pharmaceutical companies - that their ability to perform research and develop new treatments would be adversely impaired by the competition of Parallel Trade. It is the opinion of the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, that medical care in the United States is the finest in the world, precisely because of the current, no-importation (or reimportation) situation. FDA regulations ensure that all drugs have been properly tested even before they have been released to the market. Pharmaceutical companies use their profits to develop new medications which, under FDA rules, must undergo rigorous tests, trials, and so forth. Many never make it to the pharmacy because their ill-effects, or possible ill-effects, are detected during the long process of FDA approval and certification.

We are aggressively using our existing educational, compliance and enforcement tools to combat the proliferation of unsafe or fraudulent pharmaceuticals on the Internet, and we will continue to evaluate what changes in our procedures, regulations, or the law might be appropriate to enhance our efforts.

In short, the FDA is committed to a policy of protecting Americans whether they want to be protected or not. Rather than allowing the consumer to decide if he or she believes a foreign, or reimported, product is safe, the official position of the United States Government is one of "we know better than you do," when it comes to the issue of pharmaceuticals. Despite its much vaunted support of free trade, and the workings of the marketplace, the current administration seems addicted to using any argument it can scrounge up to safeguard the large pharmaceutical corporations enormous profits. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, "when all relevant economic costs are taken into account, including costs from unsuccessful compounds, an average of about $800 million in R&D [Research and Development] spending is incurred for each internally produced new compound reaching the market." An astronomical figure indeed, but should middle class and poor Americans be deprived of adequate healthcare because the Pharmaceutical Industry claims it is so costly to produce new drugs? What of other solutions to the research and development dilemma? Could not the federal government provide funds for research? It does already to a considerable extent. And one need only look at the present day barrage of pharmaceutical advertising to see that large drug companies often - not always - choose to spend large portions of their research funding not on "life-saving treatments," but on cosmetic, or inconvenient, afflictions or conditions, such as lactose intolerance, certain kinds of non-fatal, and non-debilitating sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual dysfunction. Surely all the industry's billions are not being put to their best use. Americans should be able to use the power of the marketplace to ensure that they receive not only the best care, but also the best price.

References

Barry, Patricia. "States in Revolt Look to Canada for Rx Drugs: States Defy Federal Laws, Industry on Drug Purchases." AARP Bulletin Online. AARP, November 2003. URL: http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/prescription/Articles/a2003-11-05-states_revolt.html.

Statement of William K. Hubbard, Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning, U.S. Food and Drug Administration before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 14 July 2004.

Would Prescription Drug Importation Reduce U.S. Drug Spending?" A Series of Issue Summaries from the Congressional Budget Office. 29 April 2004.

Patricia Barry, "States in Revolt Look to Canada for Rx Drugs: States Defy Federal Laws, Industry on Drug Purchases," AARP Bulletin Online, AARP, November 2003. URL: http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/prescription/Articles/a2003-11-05-states_revolt.html.

Statement of William K. Hubbard, Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning, U.S. Food and Drug Administration before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 14 July 2004.

Would Prescription Drug Importation Reduce U.S. Drug Spending?" A Series of Issue Summaries from the Congressional Budget Office, 29 April 2004. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Healthcare Making Prescription Drugs Affordable?.  (2004, August 11).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/healthcare-making-prescription-drugs/6026356

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"Healthcare Making Prescription Drugs Affordable?."  Essaytown.com.  August 11, 2004.  Accessed July 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/healthcare-making-prescription-drugs/6026356.