It’s tough these days not to go online and NOT see the word “Trump” in one way or another. But when I saw this, I was extremely hopeful.
The title of the article, “Trump Tells Drugmakers to Manufacture in the U.S.” piqued my interest. Mainly because I understand what the high cost of medications has done to the wallets of seniors.
So as I read the article, I was far more focused on what President Trump was saying about drug prices than I was about anything else. Here are a few of the tidbits…
- “We have to get the prices down,” Trump said. “We have to get the prices way down.”
- “We have to get lower prices, we have to get even better innovation, and I want you to move your companies back to the United States,” Trump said. “I want you to manufacture in the United States.”
Trump also said he wanted to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to win regulatory approval for their products.
“You’re going to get your prices either approved, or not approved,” the president said. “But it’s going to be a quick process. It’s not going to take 15 years.”
Now, if you are someone who is dealing with the high cost of prescription medications, this should come as a godsend to you. Because President Trump hit the nail on the head as to exactly what the problem is with high drug costs.
And that is the FDA-approval process and government-sanctioned monopolies for drug manufacturers.
Don’t believe me? Check out this study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The article, “The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States – Origins and Prospects for Reform” was written in August of 2016 and hits on some familiar topics. But most important are the conclusions that the study draws at the end of the article…
“Conclusions and Relevance High drug prices are the result of the approach the United States has taken to granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers, combined with coverage requirements imposed on government-funded drug benefits. The most realistic short-term strategies to address high prices include enforcing more stringent requirements for the award and extension of exclusivity rights; enhancing competition by ensuring timely generic drug availability; providing greater opportunities for meaningful price negotiation by governmental payers; generating more evidence about comparative cost-effectiveness of therapeutic alternatives; and more effectively educating patients, prescribers, payers, and policy makers about these choices.”
Read that again and let it sink in for a second. Here are the points that truly pissed me off when reading this…
- High drug prices are the result of the approach the United States has taken to granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers
- Enhancing competition by ensuring timely generic drug availability
You see, when we complain about the cost of prescription drugs, understand that the prices are so high BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT PICKING THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS IN THE MARKET. Lobbyists pay politicians to create the monopolies so that only one manufacturer can create a drug for as long as possible. That is why the price skyrockets. There is no reason for the manufacturer to keep prices low if only one company can manufactures a particular drug.
The sad part is that most people, when seeing the high prices, then want INCREASED GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, not realizing that it is these government regulations keeping the costs up.
So if Trump can succeed in reforming the FDA and streaming not only the approval process of new medications but also increasing the amount of generic medications on the market, then we will see the prices coming down to more manageable levels.
I for one hope he succeeds.