It’s not too surprising that drug companies love profit and focus on staying in business by creating and marketing new drugs. The only reason they stay in business is because people buy their drugs.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of evidence that indicates drug companies would prefer to increase their profits, rather than truly take care of the people they are supposed to help get well or cure. This isn’t exactly something new, as it really all began when penicillin first appeared on the market. These days however, the grab for profits is even more pronounced, as the drug market is enormous and billions of dollars change hands yearly.
To understand the reason for the higher prices for drugs these days is to take a quick look behind the scenes at a drug company. They are driven by the bottom line, dollars or die. In order to keep afloat, every drug company has to have a new drug or two in the pipeline ready to come off the line and be sold to the marketplace. That’s the first part of the equation.
The second part of the equation is that the drug in the pipeline, when it is ready to be released to the public, is under patent protection. That means they are able to charge high prices for it, which in turn generates mega profits to develop another drug; and so the cycle continues. However, brand name drugs do eventually come off patent, unless the drug company re-works an old for formula and calls it new (usually in an effort to keep generic drug manufacturers from competing with them.)
The drug market is particularly cut throat and most brand name manufacturers, also called Big Pharma, will go out of their way to avoid sharing profits with the generic drug companies. Call this a dirty deal, but Big Pharma has also been known to intentionally delay a patent by extending it, anything in the name of protecting their revenue pool – the consumers who need their medications.
All this means that consumers pay higher prices at the drug store for brand name drugs that don’t work any better than the generic drugs. In fact, sometimes the old generic standbys work better than the newer ones, which have serious side effects.
Higher prices for drugs have driven health insurance companies to the point where they have put their foot down in an attempt to get control over the ever-increasing cost of drugs. The tide is starting to change, slowly, but inexorably to a preference for cheaper generic drugs. The bottom line here is in order to keep the cost of medical care down, buy generic drugs.