Drug Price Debates Essay: Problems And Solutions

Drug Price Debates: Problems And Solutions

There seems to be no doubt that the results of the drug price debates are very important for the future of the U.S. healthcare system. The fact is that it is impossible for the federal government to control drug prices. It happens due to the absence of price limitations. Consequently, the pharmaceutical companies have an opportunity to fix any price for the medical products. As a result, some corporations could overestimate prices on the newest drugs and use the absence of the competition on the market to accumulate as much profit as it is possible.

Needless to say, that such a situation could be dangerous for all those individuals who are dependent on the price of drugs due to the serious long-term illnesses or unexpected health problems. At the same time, it is illegal for the American citizens to import any drugs in the country without the specific permission due to the decree of the Food and Drug Administration (Niles 2014). Accordingly, it is impossible for the individuals to purchase the necessary medicines. There appear the debates regarding the necessity for the government to intervene in the role of regulator.

The supporters of the existing system argue that it is irrational to give an opportunity for the government to influence the prices. The fundamental reason for the importance of non-interference is the importance of free competition and R&D initiatives. Evidently, mostly all the pharmaceutical corporations state that it became harder to develop new products due to the strict policies of the FDA in licensing of the new drugs (Kirsch 2011). It means that it is very hard for a company to prove that the new drug could really help people. Consequently, the costs of the R&D activities increase, which leads to the 350% growth of the final price (Shi 2015).

The people who oppose regulation also point out that the impact of the government on the industry is absolutely unpredictable. Evidently, the U.S. economy is based on the values of liberalization of markets. It means that any attempt to regulate competition threatens the entire economic system. Moreover, the necessity to cut the prices could result in the significant employment changes. Therefore, an unemployment rate will increase as well as the discontent of many Americans working in the healthcare industry.

On the other hand, the opponents of the status quo want to guarantee that all Americans have an opportunity to buy drugs. The social activists state that it is crucial for the federal government to introduce the limitations, especially for the healthcare industry because this sphere of human activities is the most important for the well-being of all citizens. Thus, people want the U.S. political system to become more socially oriented because there are many cases when people have no chance to compete on equal terms with other members due to health problems.

Another argument of the existing system’s opponents is that the corporations cheat society by inflating the real cost of production (Angell 2010). Unfortunately, the monopolistic dominance of some companies on the market makes it impossible for other players to understate the market value. It becomes clear that both sides propose weighty arguments to prove their position and persuade the government.

It is possible to suggest that the ideal solution is always based on a compromise. Thus, both sides have to think about the outcomes of each specific decision. It could be beneficial for the U.S. federal government to adopt such programs as Medicare program to help the poor Americans to receive qualitative treatment. Simultaneously, the government could limit the prices only for the most necessary drugs, such as insulin.

It is not easy to implement the proposed decision. First, the federal government has to come to a consensus regarding the future of the industry. Evidently, the Republican Party does not want to approve the Medicare program. It is beneficial for both parties to settle an agreement, which will help to move the matter off. The state and local governments have to provide a list of those people who are in the risk zone to evaluate the amount of investment in the program. With the help of these steps, the problem will be partly solved.

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References

Angell, Marcia. (2010). The Truth About the Drug Companies. Random House Publishing. 328.

Kirsch, Donald. (2011). The Drug Hunters: The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines. Arcade Publishing. 328.

Niles, Nancy. (2014). Basics of the U.S. Health Care System. Jones and Bartlett Learning. 428.

Shi, Leiyu. (2015). Essentials of the U.S. Health Care System. Jones and Bartlett Learning. 402.