I was checking my Google alerts about prescription drug prices and came across this article in the Chicago Tribune the other day.
The article, “Prescription drug prices jumped more than 10 percent in 2015, analysis finds” points out that prescription drug prices has climbed about 5 times the current rate of inflation.
Now before I go on, I have a story to tell you, because it is important to the narrative that I will describe to you later in this article.
The article uses as its poster boy Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund manager who acquired the rights to Daraprim, a drug for AIDS patients. Upon acquisition, he raised the price of each pill from $13 to $750, leading to condemnation and outrage. His later arrest, on unrelated charges, was cheered the world over.
But the article from the Chicago Tribune took an entirely one-sided approach of the rise in prescription drug prices and did not tell the full story.
While many have painted this episode as a failure in capitalism, the solution that actually presented itself was put forth not by government intervention, but by enlightened capitalism.
Because within a few weeks of the announcement that the price was going up, something remarkable happened. A competitor in the market came up with an alternative pill and priced it at $1 per pill!!!
You can read the NBC News article here about how they described it…
San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals says it can make a close, customized version of the drug for $1 a pill. That’s a big contrast to the $750-a-dose that Shkreli said Turing was going to start charging for Daraprim, which fights parasitic infections.
And the ironic part is that, in actuality, these AIDS patients should be THANKING Martin Shkreli. Yes, I said they should be thanking him. Because without his price gouge these people would still be paying $13 a pill instead of $1. The government couldn’t do that…but enlightened capitalists could.
So, why am I telling you this story? For a few reasons…
1) Not everyone is greedy and looking to profit off of an illness
2) There is help out there if you are willing to take the time and look for it.
And I must admit, there are PLENTY of times that I have gone through the legwork of finding a prescription drug assistance program (to deal with these prescription drug prices we are discussing) or went out of my way to find free or low-cost dental care for someone in need and they didn’t bother to follow through.
I have no idea.
But the point is that the help is out there if you are willing to look.
To that end, I would like to take the opportunity to point you to series of articles on prescription drugs savings and ideas and how to lower your costs.
The help is out there. Go get it! And if you need help feel free to contact me and I will do what I can to assist you.
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