Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pharmaceutical Price-fixing

I use a nasal spray, for which I was given a prescription and told to use it every single day. When I was given my prescription with 20 repeats, it cost almost $50 for a bottle that would last one month. It was an unexpected lifetime mobile phone contract worth of preventative health care.

I saw it advertised on TV the other day, and wondered if it was actually the same thing, because it was an over-the-counter drug they were advertising.

I asked a pharmacist, and the drug has been deregulated, so no more need to organise trips to the doctor just to get more of the same.

Now for the point of the story: in being deregulated, the price has changed from $50 per bottle to $20. I don't know exactly the cause of this, but I can only imagine it comes down to less access to government money through people with health care cards, or something like that.

That's a bloody outrage, that is. We're not meant to have that American kind of system where insurance drives up prices.

There should be an inquiry into the effects of regulation on medication prices. I don't know if it would find that there are any practical solutions, but regulation should not add 150% onto the price of the medication.

1 comment:

  1. I've looked it up, and while some of the patents on the drug only expires in 2017, there have been issues with other ones, so there is another competitor who has started making its own version, and lawsuits didn't stop them, i.e. the competitor won.

    That's probably the real reason for the price drop, i.e. the expiration of a government protected monopoly, but now my question is why did all that happen just as it was deregulated?

    Anyone know if there was dodginess?