Thoughts on the drug shortage in the USA

Posted in the Bogota, Colombia Forum

Tony

United States

#1 Feb 14, 2012
I saw on the evening news on television last night that there is a shortage of cancer drugs here in the United States of America because of generic drugs and a reduced profit margin, because the profit margin has been reduced the manufacturers are stopping manufacturing of the drugs. It is sad that money should be an issue when it comes to the saving of lives, and it is sad that the prices for the drugs cannot be reduced without the drug companies stopping the manufacturing of the drugs. It sucks when people put money above the saving of lives, and it sucks that the greedy drug companies have to receive super high profit margins in order to continue the production of drugs. The government's answer is to pass legislation to force the drug companies to manufacture more of the drugs, but it should not require legislation to force people to save lives at the lowest cost possible for the patients. My answer would be to allow the drugs to be produced in Colombia, and Brazil, so that people could receive the same high quality drugs at a reduced cost, and I believe that pharmaceutical companies in Colombia and Brazil would welcome the opportunity to manufacture the drugs and export the drugs to the USA and that they would love to produce the quantity of drugs needed to prevent a shortage in the USA. I believe that the drug shortage could be averted by opening up our market to drugs from Colombia and Brazil, without the government doing anything other than approving it and monitoring the quality of the drugs. I also believe that there can be advancements made in the research and development of new pharmaceuticals in Colombia and Brazil with a good return on the money spent.

If I remember correctly, Republicans wanted to open the US drug market up to foreign competition years ago, and if they would have succeeded then we would not be having a drug shortage now. And certainly the drug companies have been giving money to the politicians who best support the interests of the drug companies. The politicians and drug companies win, while the people have been losing. I would be interested in hearing what Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have to say about allowing foreign competition, from Colombia and Brazil for instance, when it comes to pharmaceuticals.

This is an extremely important issue which must be discussed, and solutions need to be found very quickly. I fully believe that the solution which I have suggested is a good one.

Salute,

Tony V.

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