Merck wants Americans to pay $712 for a Covid drug that taxpayers helped develop (the Russian analog is ‘free’)

The drug in question only costs $17.74 to produce. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is widespread in US pharma

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Guardian: Last week, we learned that Merck is planning to charge Americans 40 times its cost for a Covid drug whose development was subsidized by the American government. The situation spotlights two sets of facts that have gone largely unmentioned in the legislative debate over whether to let Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices.

Fact one: Americans are facing not merely expensive drugs but prices that are examples of outright profiteering.

Fact two: in many cases, the medicines we are being gouged on are those that we the public already paid for.

These facts show us that pharma-bankrolled Democrats trying to kill drug pricing measures aren’t just bought and paid for in this particular skirmish – they are foot soldiers in the pharmaceutical industry’s larger multi-decade campaign to seal off and rig America’s alleged “free market”.

First, there’s the price point of drugs. It’s not merely that Americans are paying the world’s highest prices for pharmaceuticals, it’s that in many cases, we are paying prices that aren’t even close to what consumers in other countries pay.

A new Public Citizen analysis shows that the 20 top-selling medicines generated almost twice as much pharmaceutical industry revenue in the United States as in every other country combined. Sure, compared with others, Americans may buy a lot of prescription drugs, but this study reflects something much bigger at play: pharma-sculpted public policies that allow drug price levels to go beyond profits and into profiteering.

That term “profiteering” is important here because drugmakers aren’t losing lots of money in other countries where they sell medicines at lower prices.  Read more..

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/14/merck-drug-prices-us-healthcare-big-pharma

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9 COMMENTS

  1. If you stop and think about it; every last single bit of production in any field is achieved by the actual workers who do the producing, whether it’s mental work, physical work or any combination.
    The 99% do all the work, but the 1% collect all the money. And they collect it by “virtue” of being in the “money business.”
    I used to not understand how the term “wage slave” could signify any real condition, but now I know what it is meant by it.

  2. Ownership based economies will automatically incentivize war for territorial expansion, illness, and centralized control systems ran by (for profit) “owners”.
    Patents derived from taxpayer funded research at universities, and like this one, private drug companies or anything at all, should belong to the people.
    In nature, there is no ownership. It is a foreign concept that has to be taught and constantly reinforced. Dogma. Plants teach a gift economy. You pick the berries, the plant makes them taste good and promotes symbiosis. Ownership is selfish squabbling mostly done by small children.

    • Do you have any extended family that need social services for any incapacity or ‘challenges’? Is everyone in your close circle self empowered for everything they need?

    • I would say I’m an anarchist. Definitely not a statist. Whatever we create will seek to enlarge and sustain itself. Ultimately we will have a robotic pharma company in charge of world security and food production if we don’t stop feeding it. 50% of all illness is cured with a sugar pill. And sugar isn’t even that good for you.
      What we have is an oligarchic corporatocracy addicted to self harm laced with delusions of unnatural non-sentient dogmas. My vote is to defund all of it. It’s a tapeworm.

    • Sounds like something from an old Woody Allen movie. But, now it’s for real. The American diet alone is enough to kill off 50% of the population, and many of the rest will suffer in misery from obesity related physical and mental illnesses. Some folks do need help from the “village” but there are usually subtle strings attached. Life used to be more simple.

  3. I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Jersey Boys at Merck were peddling this pill at $700 a hit. No one seemed to think that was outrageous, but I haven’t seen much anywhere about how the Government (read we the taxpayers) are getting hosed for the vaccines as well. Federal contracting law is in shambles relative to Covid 19. That’s a good reason to look very carefully at the “efficacy” of these products. This is not the magical elixir of the gods, but stuff made in a lab by humans driven by profit obsessed managers. Just think about it. Somebody always has to pick up the tab.

    • Unless you own stock in one or all of the pharma companies. Then, everything is cool. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, living in the USA (Steve Miller).