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Provision of the two UN HDI indicators other than GNP.
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By jimjam
#14977262
I have been ranting here and there about the sad state of health care in America and decided that a dedicated thread to the issue would solve the problem once and for all :lol: .

American health care IMO has morphed into one of the largest scam/con operations in history. It is really a perfect scam. When people are faced with a likelihood of pain, sickness and death, it becomes relatively easy to scare the shit and the money out of them. Fifty years ago I worked at a job that gave me full health insurance as a benefit. If I had a health issue, the insurance simply paid the bill. "Pre existing conditions" was not yet the legal term that consigned Americans to bankruptcy and/or death. Try to imagine full health insurance as a fringe benefit in today's atmosphere of abject greed ….. inconceivable. A ten minute search of the internet will quickly show how, in relation to other countries, Americans are being fleeced and sucked dry by the Medical Industrial Complex and their army of lobbyists paying off our "leaders" to craft laws/regulations designed to stack the deck in favor of medical corporations. Here are just a few examples:

Humira is an injectable medication used to treat multiple autoimmune diseases, that range from rheumatoid arthritis to psoriasis to ulcerative colitis — and one of the best-selling drugs in American history. In 2014 alone, millions of Americans spent a combined $6.5 billion on Humira prescriptions.

But we probably didn’t have to. While Americans paid an average price of $2,669 for Humira, the Swiss were able to buy the exact same drug for $822 — and in the United Kingdom, patients got it for $1,362. If the United States paid what the Swiss paid for the arthritis drug, we would have spent $2 billion on Humira in 2014 rather than $6.5 billion.

Harvoni cures hepatitis C. It also costs $10,000 more in the US than anywhere else.

Need to take the cancer drug Avastin? It will cost nine times more in the United States than in Britain.

A day in a hospital costs $5,220 here — versus $424 in Spain.

Bypass surgery costs $78,318 here, versus $24,059 in the UK.

Many thousands of people travel outside the U.S. for health care annually when they cannot afford similar care here. They are usually insured, but because of co-pays, deductibles, adverse decisions by claims adjusters, or any other groundless reason, their treatment is not covered. Many older Americans get dental treatment outside the U.S. because it isn't covered by Medicare.

In far too many cases, medical decision-making has been taken out of the hands of patients and doctors, where it belongs, and transferred to insurance companies. Providers now spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with insurers, arguing that this or that test or procedure is necessary and should be covered, and every doctor and nurse knows this.

The civilized world may have affordable, decent healthcare, but America has something much more precious - an insatiable, sociopathic sense of selfish greed over people.

Even Medicare is very expensive. Part B does not cover prescriptions and only about 80% of medical bills, it does not cover dental care. In Europe, one premium covers all that no additional insurance is needed, there is a small copayment for prescriptions. American seniors need several policies and still pay hundreds of $$$ for prescriptions and co-payments. Almost 20% of GDP for health care and still a rotten system.

A solution? Obamacare is far from perfect but it tamed what is arguably he single largest killer/bankruptcy factor in the American "health care" system …… pre existing conditions. Republicans have fought tooth and nail to remove Obamacare and improve profits for the medical Industrial Complex by bringing back their favorite loophole ….pre existing conditions. In addition to improving profits for the Medical Industrial Complex, removing Obamacare will give another tax reduction to rich folks. Fuck them and their wall. Make decent health care election issue #1 and drain Republicans from the swamp.
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By Rancid
#14977265
I think the answer is universal health care. Aside from that, I wonder if drug prices globally would raise if the US socialized healthcare. Because we pay so much for medication in the US, it allows the drug companies to charge less, and even give away the drugs in other countries.
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By One Degree
#14977275
Only one of the drugs mentioned above is from an American manufacturer. The US does have 4 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, but this by itself does not explain the high price as they are all international companies. You have to, once again, look at our governments affect on the prices also.
By skinster
#14977277
Obamacare was shit; written by a Republican think-tank - the Heritage Foundation - and insurance companies to serve...not the people. It was/is a scam too, jimjam.

My pov:
Rancid wrote:I think the answer is universal health care.
User avatar
By Rancid
#14977286
One Degree wrote:Only one of the drugs mentioned above is from an American manufacturer. The US does have 4 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, but this by itself does not explain the high price as they are all international companies. You have to, once again, look at our governments affect on the prices also.


The notion of "American" or "Foreign" company doesn't really mean much though. I remember listening to a podcast with a pharma rep, where she was in fact defending the practice of charging more for a drug in say the US, and then less for the same drug in another country, and in some cases, actually giving it away. There was no mention of "US drug prices are high because of the government"

I think it was a Freakconomics podcast I heard this on.

Hence, if the US went to a universal system and negotiated lower prices, I wonder if it would affect the prices in other countries. In other words, in a sense the US is subsidizing drug prices for the rest of the world. I wonder if this could result in lower drug prices for people in the US, but higher prices for people in other countries.
Last edited by Rancid on 03 Jan 2019 21:39, edited 2 times in total.
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By Suntzu
#14977289
American healthcare is a criminal enterprise. On average Americans spend about $1,000/month for every man woman and child or about one in every six dollars spent in the American economy. This is roughly double what is spent on healthcare by other industrialized countries.
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By One Degree
#14977293
Rancid wrote:The notion of "American" or "Foreign" company doesn't really mean much though. I remember listening to a podcast with a pharma rep, where she was in fact defending the practice of charging more for a drug in say the US, and then less for the same drug in another country, and in some cases, actually giving it away. There was no mention of "US drug prices are high because of the government"

I think it was a Freakconomics podcast I heard this on.

Hence, if the US went to a universal system and negotiated lower prices, I wonder if it would affect the prices in other countries. In other words, in a sense the US is subsidizing drug prices for the rest of the world. I wonder if this could result in lower drug prices for people in the US, but higher prices for people in other countries.


I couldn’t find a site to list cost to bring a drug to market by country. Searching it will bring up multiple sites saying how expensive it is in the US, $2.5 billion. The only argument is whether drug companies should be allowed to include failed drug costs. The US allows this, but many others don’t. There is no doubt on either side that government policies are a major cause of the higher prices in the US. One concession our government makes for the higher research cost is allowing a longer time when they can charge any price they want without competition.
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By One Degree
#14977297
It doesn’t matter that they are international companies. All must meet US guidelines to sell in the US.
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By Stormsmith
#14977306
Rancid wrote:I think the answer is universal health care. Aside from that, I wonder if drug prices globally would raise if the US socialized healthcare. Because we pay so much for medication in the US, it allows the drug companies to charge less, and even give away the drugs in other countries.


Possibly but not by much. Most drugs are introduced in phases, then re-issued with small changes to keep the patent going. Or they create a drug that does the same job with the same efficacy as an existing drug, but the new one is heavily advertised. New Zealand was being bugged by people wanting Zyban to quit smoking. I don't know what you'd pay but up here, without pharmaceutical coverage it was about $70 a month. Nortriptyline was as effective but cost about $1.25 a month in New Zealand dollars. No one had heard about it for smoking cessation, but they had heard about zyban.

What you could do is develop a government owned pharmaceutical company and produce generic drugs, or buy more from abroad, eg India, Cuba etc. Profits should be smallish, and poured back into the medical system
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By Rancid
#14977307
Stormsmith wrote:
Possibly but not by much. Most drugs are introduced in phases, then re-issued with small changes to keep the patent going. Or they create a drug that does the same job with the same efficacy as an existing drug, but the new one is heavily advertised. New Zealand was being bugged by people wanting Zyban to quit smoking. I don't know what you'd pay but up here, without pharmaceutical coverage it was about $70 a month. Nortriptyline was as effective but cost about $1.25 a month in New Zealand dollars. No one had heard about it for smoking cessation, but they had heard about zyban.

What you could do is develop a government owned pharmaceutical company and produce generic drugs, or buy more from abroad, eg India, Cuba etc. Profits should be smallish, and poured back into the medical system


I see...
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By MistyTiger
#14977354
Stormsmith wrote:Possibly but not by much. Most drugs are introduced in phases, then re-issued with small changes to keep the patent going. Or they create a drug that does the same job with the same efficacy as an existing drug, but the new one is heavily advertised. New Zealand was being bugged by people wanting Zyban to quit smoking. I don't know what you'd pay but up here, without pharmaceutical coverage it was about $70 a month. Nortriptyline was as effective but cost about $1.25 a month in New Zealand dollars. No one had heard about it for smoking cessation, but they had heard about zyban.

What you could do is develop a government owned pharmaceutical company and produce generic drugs, or buy more from abroad, eg India, Cuba etc. Profits should be smallish, and poured back into the medical system


Interesting idea. But the government could use the program to raise taxes and taxes in the US are already high. Where the money goes is anyone's guess.

Someone could form a drug program that gets partial government funding, with some government regulation on the prices. Prices would be kept at a reasonable level and people could donate to keep the facility running and keep prices stable.
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By Stormsmith
#14977362
Well Misty, the idea that a full government chain that prices drugs at the low-end of consumer prices is to

1. Not put other drugs stores out of business
2. To encourage people go there for their drugs, and they would be inclined to. Think about it: in whose pocket do you want to put your money, your own via the healthcare system or Walmart's?
User avatar
By MistyTiger
#14978051
Stormsmith wrote:Well Misty, the idea that a full government chain that prices drugs at the low-end of consumer prices is to

1. Not put other drugs stores out of business
2. To encourage people go there for their drugs, and they would be inclined to. Think about it: in whose pocket do you want to put your money, your own via the healthcare system or Walmart's?


I see what you are saying. But drug companies have so much influence over lawmakers, it is disgusting. Lawmakers are known to receive hefty kickbacks so why would they want to compete with those who line their pockets?

I am always tempted to buy antibiotics online, so much cheaper than getting it with a prescription. My parents got a stash in Taiwan, over the counter even, pretty cool! We need to get more antibiotics.
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By jimjam
#14990497
Actimmune, a drug that treats malignant osteoporosis and sells for less than $350 for a one-month supply in Britain, costs $26,000 for a one-month supply in the United States. :eek:

Mr. Trump has not kept his campaign promise to “negotiate like crazy” with drug makers to lower the cost of their products. I guess Johnnie One Note is too busy blathering endlessly about a wall.
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By jimjam
#14990498
Stormsmith wrote:Most drugs are introduced in phases, then re-issued with small changes to keep the patent going.


Humira ,which treats inflammatory disorders like arthritis and Crohn’s disease, and is the best-selling prescription drug in the world. It has been on the market for nearly two decades, and it is still protected from competition by 247 patents, most of which were taken out years after the drug came on the market.

Patent protection enables drug makers to recoup the money they spend developing and marketing a new product. But most experts agree that leading drug makers have gamed this system: By applying for dozens of patents for minor technical tweaks that provide little clinical benefit, they stave off competition for decades.
User avatar
By Ter
#14990507
jimjam wrote:Actimmune, a drug that treats malignant osteoporosis and sells for less than $350 for a one-month supply in Britain, costs $26,000 for a one-month supply in the United States. :eek:

A return ticket from the US to the UK costs less than 1,000 dollars.
Just saying.

A lot of treatments and surgeries can be done safely and cheaply in several destinations in Asia.
The hospital I sometimes visit in Bangkok has two hundred and fifty thousand foreign patients every year.

Just by-the-by : I had my cataract surgery done in Bangladesh, by the best surgeon in the country, in the best specialised hospital, and I paid US 900, including the best Zeiss lens, pre- and post-operative care, and of course the surgery itself.
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By XogGyux
#14990508
This is a far more complex matter than most people realize. I think a great deal of the problems comes from our very litigious society here in the US. We end up wasting so much resources in the "cover your butt" medicine in which everyone and their mother gets a CT brain for non-sensical stories and 20years old get admitted to the hospital for a cardiac workup to rule out a heart attack. A great deal of drug pricing is that companies can get away with it, but another big issue is lawsuits... how often do you turn on your TV and you see some sort of advertisement to join a class action lawsuit or something? Not many people know this but malpractice insurance for physicians can be 50k-200k depending on the specialty... Imagine that, 1-4x the annual income of the median household just going to insurance in case you get sue.
Then is medical professional salaries which are much higher than in other industrialized countries? And it is not like we pocket that money, quality of life is not much different when you factor in the huge debts that US medical professionals get into to finance their careers.
When a homeless goes to the hospital, he/she is taken care of regardless of whether or not they have insurance... who do you think ends up paying for that? It is taxpayers (when the government picks the tab) or patients (when the hospital charges 5k for an MRI instead of 1K.
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By Godstud
#14990520
For a foreigner in Thailand(#3 on list of places where people go to get surgeries done):
X-Ray of hand at the hospital, see a doctor, and pay for pain meds: $8 USD.
10 Stitches on arm, anti-biotics and pain meds: $25 USD.
Price for a round of anti-biotics that you can get from the pharmacy? under $1.50 USD

I would hate to see the price of me seeing a doctor in USA.... :eek:

I had a friend have hip surgery done here, twice. An American, fully covered by his Blue Cross, and at 1/10th the cost of it in the USA.

Thais pay an incidental fee of around $1.50 for everything from a boo-boo to heart surgery. They have pretty near Universal Healthcare now, with private healthcare still being an option, of course.
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By Godstud
#14990549
Mexico is much cheaper, as well. When my parents were down in AZ they bought their prescription drugs from Mexico, and they delivered them very rapidly. They also got glasses and other things in Mexico. So much for Mexico sucking, eh? :D
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