Uncommon Sense

October 28, 2018

How Do We Know Drugs are Overpriced in the U.S.?

Hundreds of millions of dollars flow to lobbyists and politicians on Capitol Hill each year to shape laws and policies that keep drug company profits growing. The pharmaceutical industry, which has about two lobbyists for every member of Congress, spent $152m on influencing legislation in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Drug companies also contributed more than $20m directly to political campaigns last year. About 60% went to Republicans. Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was the single largest beneficiary, with donations from the industry totaling $228,670.” (Source: How Big Pharma’s Money – And Its Politicians – Feed The US Opioid Crisis by Chris McGreal in The Guardian)

Drugmakers have poured close to $2.5bn into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade.” (Source: same article)

Obviously the pharmaceutical corporations don’t need those dollars for profits or running their businesses, they represent just the cost of maintaining a system in which drugs are always more expensive for Americans than they are anywhere else in the world (you will find the same drugs, with the same licenses, but with lower prices everywhere else). The return on that $2,500,000,000 investment in U.S. politicians is quite healthy. We are obviously being charged that two and a half billion, over ten years, more than is necessary and since they are unlikely to spend that amount only to make that amount more than they would otherwise, I think it is safe to say that the amount we are being overcharged is far more than that.


  1. We get hosed here because of three things. Insurance, advertising, and we have just the cash to pay what they ask. In Panama I can by the same drugs for 25% what we pay here, and most things (except narcotics) don’t need a Drs prescription. Then the medical is free…ok $2 for an ER visit and $20 if you’re admitted to the hospital. Little ol Panama can do it, we can too. Have to remove profit from medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by jim- — October 28, 2018 @ 10:58 am | Reply

    • As can Cuba! Cuba and Panama can do what we “can’t.” The reason for much of this is simple control by the plutocrats. The plutocrats entirely approved of the all-volunteer army we have now (sans any drafts as in the Vietnam era) because during WWI there was a very affective campaign launched along the line of “If the government can confiscate our bodies (for an unpopular war) they can confiscate the wealth of the rich to pay for it.” This resulted in a much expanded progressive income tax.

      The plutocrats do not want government health care as there is too much money to be made keeping it private. Similarly, if you “follow the money” you will recognize the plutocrats behind almost all significant political decisions (or non-decisions) of our time. We don’t have effective gun laws merely because of the money to be made selling guns. (The NRA switched from an organization I could support to what it is now when the manufacturers started donating large sums of money to it (with strings attached).) Und so weiter.

      On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 10:58 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 28, 2018 @ 11:25 am | Reply

      • Hah!! Etcétera etcétera! I see your response could be an entire book Steve! One thing that bothers me—it’s a super easy fix, but insurance companies and corporate profits , even our for-profit hospitals and insurances have dictated the fees of non-profit. They are nearly identical in cost! This game is twigged so deep it’s ridiculous, while playing on illness for monetary gain is immoral.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by jim- — October 28, 2018 @ 11:38 am | Reply

        • You and I agree completely.

          On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:38 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — October 28, 2018 @ 11:39 am | Reply

          • We’ve been pawnzied!! Is that a word? It should be.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by jim- — October 28, 2018 @ 11:42 am | Reply

            • Are you referring to the scheme of Mr. Ponzi?

              On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:42 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



              Comment by Steve Ruis — October 28, 2018 @ 11:44 am | Reply

        • …insurance companies and corporate profits , even our for-profit hospitals and insurances have dictated the fees of non-profit.

          That’s a great point Jim. Could we then say that insurance companies, corporations (both big pharma and otherwise), and for-profit hospitals are “Unionized”? And yet, here in Texas and many other Red states across the nation, worker unions are banned, illegal. Hmmmmm, is that one hard to figure out when you examine those state’s government and its branches? HAH! 😒

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Professor Taboo — October 28, 2018 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  2. Excellent post Mr. President. Also a damn great topic. I agree totally on how we here in ‘Merikkka get screwed by the cost of meds. Yes, Panama and Cuba do things much better. A few years back, W. Shrub was still POTUS, there was some report that listed the top nations for health care. The USA came in at 35. Yes, even behind lil’ old Costa Rica. Now, I just had to email everybody I had an email address for telling them how; “We must stand up and cheer this super good news. We are 35th in the world as rated for health care!”. Needless to say, not many of the replies I got were happy ones. The survey included more than just the cost of meds, so it may not fit completely with this topic. Still, for world ranking for overall health care, this country was number 35. Wow, ain’t we all so bloody damn proud?


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — October 28, 2018 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

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