Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Motto of a Pharmaceutical Company – Your Money or Your Life

Greed in the United States Trumps Decency and Compassion

In the United States if a person tells another person that unless they pay a huge sum of money then they will die this is a crime.  Heck it is a crime in most if not all of the rest of the world.  Without knowing anything about the legal systems of Iran and North Korea one can assume that extorting money by threatening to kill the target is illegal. 

There is an exception.  In America a pharmaceutical company can raise the price of a life saving drug to such a level that it causes sufferers to forgo treatment and die.  From the business friendly WSJ.

In February a company called Marathon Pharmaceuticals received permission to sell a drug that treats a really awful type of muscular dystrophy. 

Marathon set the price at $89,000 a year. Some families were paying about $1,200 a year to buy the drug, a steroid called deflazacort, from an online pharmacy in the U.K. and have it shipped to the U.S.

And what about this disease?

It took only a month for sticker shock to cascade into criticism from families of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal condition that primarily strikes young boys, a shame campaign from congressional lawmakers in both parties and then a surprise deal by Marathon to sell the treatment to another company.

So yes, a lot of criticism has caused the company to sell to another company.  And the new owner, they will probably lower the price as little so a couple of sufferers may be saved. 

Remember when Trump said he would do something about high prescription drugs prices?  Don’t hold your breath.

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