portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

health

Big name drug costs outpace inflation

Government pays for the research, drug companies get the profits.
www.registerguard.com
May 26, 2004


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Brand-name prescription drug prices rose at more than three times the rate of overall inflation last year, two groups pressing for lower prices said in studies Tuesday.

The reports by the 35 million-member AARP and the consumer group Families USA said the gap between prices for prescription medicines and general inflation has widened in recent years, diminishing the purchasing power of older Americans who receive increases in Social Security based on the Consumer Price Index. The index is the government's most closely watched inflation measure.

``If the price of drugs keeps going up faster than inflation, it will become more and more difficult for consumers, especially older consumers, to be able to afford them,'' said John Rother, AARP's policy director.

The increases also negate the value of the discounts available through Medicare's new drug cards, said Ron Pollack, president of Families USA. The group has been a persistent critic of last year's Medicare prescription drug law.

``Over time, base prices have increased by a higher percentage than the discounts the administration is claiming,'' Pollack said.

The Bush administration has said the Medicare drug cards are offering savings of 10 percent to 17 percent on brand-name drugs.

The card can be used beginning June 1.

The average price increase for the top 30 brand-name drugs used by older Americans was 6.5 percent last year, the Families USA report said. AARP's study showed an average 6.9 percent price increase for nearly 200 drugs. Inflation in general was 1.9 percent.

Since 2000, the drug prices have risen 27.6 percent, AARP said. General inflation was 9.3 percent for the same period.

Prices increased 6.9 percent to 9.9 percent last year for the five leading drugs in terms of sales - cholesterol-reducing Lipitor, the blood thinner Plavix, Fosamax for osteoporosis, the blood pressure drug Norvasc and Celebrex, a pain reliever - the Families USA study said.

Pfizer makes Celebrex, Lipitor and Norvasc, while Bristol-Myers Squibb produces Plavix and Merck & Co. manufactures Fosamax.

Jeff Trewhitt, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the studies overstated the rate of inflation for prescription drugs and did not account for the industry's substantial research and development costs.

Prices of prescription medicines have risen 4.4 percent on average in each of the past three years, slightly slower than medical inflation, Trewhitt said. ``That's a more accurate basis for comparison,'' he said.

Heartburn and boners 27.May.2004 09:11

Mother

I watch CBS news 2 or 3 times a week, and sometimes 60 minutes. If these shows are any example of the whole of tv then there is a massive expenditure in drug advertising on prime time tv. This is outrageous. 2 out 3 commercials are for drugs of some kind and most of them have to do with erections and digestion. This drives up the cost of all drugs, including ones we might really need to restore or maintain wellness.

I expect few IM readers view much tv, or will admit to it, but they do sometimes need pharmaceuticals. They have a right to expect to pay an affordable price.

Health care costs are escalating at an insane rate. Most of that is drug prices. (I won't mention having to buy my doctor a new car every other year.) We are stuck supporting these companies, their propaganda machines, and break the law if we buy from the competition in Canada or Mexico.

Back To Basics 28.May.2004 09:23

Naphtali info@naphtalihc.com

I am in complete agreence with not only this article, but also the concerned mother of "Heartburn and boner." After working 10 years in the Medical industry and 4 years in the Pharmaceutical industry, and the name is listed in the above article. I started to learn something from all the colleagues I worked with. How does it feel to be a selected cash crop? What do I mean, well. Take for instance Motrin, a simple NSAID, we used to give it out like candy in the medical industry back in the 80's and it is very popular now, but what they won't tell you, from what I learned having to complete drug card research in nursing school is that it cause your red blood cells to break down after long term usage. Now that isn't nice. Sure you say that's ok I don't use it much. No, listen, even if you use it, what you have to realize is that NSAID's need to reach a therapeutic level in order to work. By the time they get to it your breaking down your red blood cells, creating another problem to go see the Medical industry for again. I say again, How's it feel to be a cash crop?

After learning this fun lesson working in these industries I started to do some personal and deep research, and found out that at the turn of the century all Doctors were well aware of Herbal treatments with some great Prognosis's I might add. Look for any Materia Medica and it will show you. They, oh, that's the AMA, FDA, and all the Medical and Pharmaceutical industries and anyone who is involved with this big deep pocket government backed business. Don't want you to know nor believe that Herbs and Certain elements in your life would help you heal. Take for instance Olive Leaf Extract, 1970's if I remember right, UpJohn did a study on this. They put Olive Leaf Extract against 26 MAJOR KNOWN VIRUSES, they all died. But what they won't tell you is that they UPJOHN nor FDA can legally charge you for A LEAF! They can only charge you for the compound they make out of the leaf. Then you only get part of the healing properties of this and a mutation begins. Look at MRSA, VRE, SARS, West Nile, Newcastle's, CWD the list goes on, and UpJohn was bought by Pfizer, so was Pharmacia whom all did research on Herbs, or what they like to call NaturaCutical. Oh did I tell you in my 10 years of medical service I worked as an Infection Control Nurse that was Containment Level 4 for Ebola trained. That also let me see some great bugs. You see the Herbs in their original form and or concentrated form will help you normalize your body. Heal = Normalize.

Here is another fun fact the industries won't let you in on. Real Salt is very beneficial for you. Not the manufactured industrialized salt. Not, say, Morton, not man made and kiln dried, but Redmond Real salt from the ground which was from ancient clean sea salt. Not the sea salt now, it's polluted and birds poop in it as it gets harvested. Anyhow, your medical industries will tell you not to intake of salt and will put you on a Cardiac Diet or something like that, but get real sick or need some medical attention and what was the first thing we did to you. Stick you with an IV of Salt Water, so the drugs would work properly , hmm imagine that.

Here is another fun tid-bit.
What people don't understand is that under article IX, U.S. constitution "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the People." Under the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, I retain the right to freedom of choice in health care (or psychological services, educational services, or spiritual services etc...). This includes the right to choose my diet, and to obtain, purchase and use any therapy, regimen, modality, remedy, herbs or product recommended by the therapist, doctor, priest, or any practitioner, self learned or educated of my choice. The enumeration in this declaration of these rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by me, or my right to amend this declaration at any time.

Where you aware that over 8 million Americans move over to Holistic or Natural health every year?


Look I could go on for hours, and I have done so many times in helping many people around the globe, we've handled HIV/Aids, TB, Pneumonias, Heart Attacks, High Blood Pressure, the list goes on and on. The question you should be asking yourself is. "Why can they put men on the moon, he he, and not heal me, why can they make bombs that can vaporize cities and not help me?" Answer, because if they did you would never come back to pay for their Hospital Errors, Cars, Houses, so on and so forth, the list can go on and on. We give seminars on the way it used to be, and point out how the industrialization of our world has help us to kill ourselves, and make the big pockets deeper and richer. As a matter fact we have a seminar scheduled for New York this June.

If you want to know more check www.NaphtaliHC.com it's a start but if you really want to normalize, you have to be willing to change your heart, soul and mind.

Naphtali Holistic Center
 http://NaphtaliHC.com
Back to Basics


The law of suppy and demand 28.May.2004 11:51

Henry Eckstein zr4@hotmail.com

Tough tootie on the consumer

You don't have to buy or take ANY drugs at all
because if only you didn't drink, smoke or eat fatty junk foods you
wouldn't be have the problems you do.

As a company I have the right to charge whatever I want (or whatever the market can bear)
for a product I designed or manufactured. NO ONE has the right to tell ME what to charge the consumer.
I you can't pay my prices, tuff tootie. You DO NOT have to buy my drugs.
Drugs ARE NOT a Necessity, they are a convenience. 100 years ago there WERE NO DRUGS
for hypertension, erectile dysfunction, et al...

You would be far better off quitting smoking, quit drinking and exercise more
before you whine about how high drug prices are.

99 percent of all the problems are caused by peoples doing stupid, dumb idiotic, myopic behaviour
where they don't foresee the consequences of their own actions.
i.e. they don't buy health insurance (because they're too stupid AND NOT WILLING to do what is necesssary
to get themselves educated and a better job so they can afford it), they eat s**t for breakfast
and they watch TV all day.

America is about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY..you take the consequences for you own
actions. If you want to eat the fattest, juiciest artery-clogging burgers then
you better be able to accept the consequences for you own stupidity.

You made your own bed, now lie in it and stop whining to me (the manufacturer)
how I must now fix problems that were of your own making.

It's your own fault that you screwed up..I got the fix, but now you've gotta pay my price.
If you can't pay then tough tootie. That's not my problem.

henry

must find new ways to make profit...must find new ways to make profit... 28.May.2004 23:34

they think we're stupid

Drugs ARE NOT a Necessity, they are a convenience. We're going to be hearing a lot more of this kind of bullshit in the decades to come. Education is a convenience. Housing is a convenience. Drinkable water is a convenience. Clean air is a convenience...

Why does Henry Hate America? 28.May.2004 23:39

bogswallow

That's a pretty blanket indictment of your fellow man, Hank. But even living the most basic nature boy lifestyle will give you injuries and ailments. I've had a number of surgeries for work related injuries and would not have been able to afford them without the old social safety net. Your anti-social money worship just makes you a hateful person. Try reading some Dickens and see where you fit in.