Proposal of "importing cheaper drugs from Canada into the US" - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15197098
Joe Biden has called for "safely importing lower cost drugs from Canada" which he says will bring more competition, and lower pharmaceutical prices in the US.

In the past, the supposed fear has been about "safety", if Canadian drugs have passed as many trials and are as safe as those sold in the US. Lots of fake drugs have been offered for sale from Canada, as well.

But I believe this is a straw man and is misrepresenting the actual issues.

The regulatory burdens are different in the US and Canada. Right now Canadian companies can import drugs into the US, if they meet all the strenuous FDA requirements. In reality, that is so difficult and expensive it is often not a practical option for these Canadian companies.

It seems what Biden's proposal would really be trying to do is give foreign companies an unfair advantage over American companies. His proposal is almost like an admission that much more stringent American regulations are keeping drug prices high. Because American companies are certainly not going to be given the option of getting their products certified in Canada instead of having to go through FDA rules.

It seems to me, if the US really wanted to allow drug prices to be reduced, they should reduce the regulatory requirements that the FDA has on pharmaceuticals, or modify those regulatory requirements to make it easier for companies based in foreign countries to be able to comply, making more standardized rules across international borders. For example, maybe the US, Canada, and the EU could all get together and agree on a similar set of core regulations. Then if the US had any additional more stringent requirements, have those be something that would be easy to springboard off from those regulations which that foreign company already was required to meet under its country's rules, instead of having completely different requirements.
#15197118
As long as USA has lobbyists for the Pharma industry, this will not happen. It has little do with FDA, or regulatory issues(aside from the lobbyists pushing such) but with USA's privatized healthcare system. They don't want competition from people who actually want to help people.

The drugs are mostly cheaper in Canada because they aren't looking for excessive profits and Canada has a Socialized Healthcare.

Canada isn't always cheap. I've had antibiotics in Canada prescribed for me that were $20(USD). I avoided this by remembering that I had purchased some at Thailand, at a pharmacy($1.20 USD).
#15199998
Godstud wrote:Canada isn't always cheap. I've had antibiotics in Canada prescribed for me that were $20(USD). I avoided this by remembering that I had purchased some at Thailand, at a pharmacy($1.20 USD).

Half the reason American/Canadian antibiotics cost 10 times as much as they do in Thailand is because of legal liability that is automatically entailed in when you buy a pharmaceutical in a country like Canada. The two pills may be exactly the same, but what you are really paying is the chance to sue for millions of dollars if something goes wrong.
#15200001
Puffer Fish wrote:Half the reason American/Canadian antibiotics cost 10 times as much as they do in Thailand is because of legal liability that is automatically entailed in when you buy a pharmaceutical in a country like Canada. The two pills may be exactly the same, but what you are really paying is the chance to sue for millions of dollars if something goes wrong.


That's certainly a part of it. HOwever, I'd like to see a break down of all the contributing factors. Surely someone has done that?
#15200004
Rancid wrote:That's certainly a part of it. HOwever, I'd like to see a break down of all the contributing factors. Surely someone has done that?

'Contributing factors'? Corporations don't calculate all their costs and then add what they think is a 'fair' profit margin when they price their products for the marketplace. Their aim is to maximise their profits; in fact, they are legally obliged t maximise returns for their shareholders. They therefore charge what they think the marketplace in any particular nation will bear, in order to maximise profits. Naturally, this will be higher in a relatively richer, developed nation such as the US and lower in a relatively poorer, underdeveloped nation such as Mexico. The only 'contributing factor' is the question: "At what price do our profits max out in this marketplace?"
#15200010
Rancid wrote:That's certainly a part of it. HOwever, I'd like to see a break down of all the contributing factors. Surely someone has done that?


Someone with more insight can probably break it down for you but the one of the bigger reasons (to his credit even Trump noticed this and tried to prevent it) is that in the civilized world, outside of the United States, national governments negotiate the lowest possible drug prices for the entire country, giving them a lot of leverage in negotiations. If a pharmaceutical company invents a new drug and tries to sell it for a outrageus price the entire country can say no. In the United States however you have what we call pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs.

Pharmacy benefit management (Wikipedia)

"As of 2016, PBMs managed pharmacy benefits for 266 million Americans. In 2017, the largest PBMs had higher revenue than the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, indicating their increasingly large role in healthcare in the United States.[5] However, in 2016 there were fewer than 30 major PBM companies in this category in the US,[1] and three major PBMs (Express Scripts, CVS Health, and OptumRx of UnitedHealth Group) comprise 78% of the market and cover 180 million enrollees."


Any savings that are made are not passed on to the consumers but rather to shareholders instead.

Why do Americans pay so much for prescription drugs? (BBC)
#15200011
Potemkin wrote:'Contributing factors'? Corporations don't calculate all their costs and then add what they think is a 'fair' profit margin when they price their products for the marketplace. Their aim is to maximise their profits; in fact, they are legally obliged t maximise returns for their shareholders. They therefore charge what they think the marketplace in any particular nation will bear, in order to maximise profits. Naturally, this will be higher in a relatively richer, developed nation such as the US and lower in a relatively poorer, underdeveloped nation such as Mexico. The only 'contributing factor' is the question: "At what price do our profits max out in this marketplace?"


Yes, generally.

However, companies do in fact often break down their costs and even their markups.
#15200041
@Puffer Fish I highly doubt that being able to sue a company is the reason for the high price. You still have that option in Thailand, so that's not the biggest contributing factor. Companies still have legal responsibilities no matter where they are, and legal options ARE available in Thailand. It's nice to pretend that's not the case, though.

What it is the capitalist exploitation of pharmaceuticals and healthcare(when allowed).

eg. Cost of the EpiPen is about $100-150 in Canada, but it's about $600 in Canada. Do you think that's because they can't sue the manufacturer? :eh:
#15202132
Godstud wrote:@Puffer Fish I highly doubt that being able to sue a company is the reason for the high price. You still have that option in Thailand, so that's not the biggest contributing factor.

Oh, you can still sue in Thailand, but the amount of money you will get will be far less.

That is the issue. Suing in other countries in the world is not the lottery it is in the US.
#15202147
@Puffer Fish There have been laws made in USA to prevent suing companies for vast sums of money(tort reform), so you have no actual argument. You have no clue what you are talking about.

Look it up, if you don't believe me. It's the reason why people do NOT get what you describe, and why lawsuits are not a significant factor in pricing. The main factor in pricing is PROFIT$.

As for suing in Thailand, you might get MORE money(relatively speaking), as they do not HAVE tort reform, like in the USA.

The main factor is that the government doesn't regulate the price of drugs. The free market, when it comes to healthcare is exploitive capitalism, at its worst.

@Puffer Fish Do you honestly believe a drug that costs $17 to produce should be sold for $700???? You and Martin Shkreli would make a good team.

For reference:
In September 2015, Shkreli was widely criticized when Turing obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by a factor of 56 (from US$13.50 to $750 per pill). In 2017, Shkreli was charged and convicted in federal court on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud, unrelated to the Daraprim controversy.[2] He was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and up to $7.4 million in fines.
#15202185
Godstud wrote:As long as USA has lobbyists for the Pharma industry, this will not happen. It has little do with FDA, or regulatory issues(aside from the lobbyists pushing such) but with USA's privatized healthcare system. They don't want competition from people who actually want to help people.

The drugs are mostly cheaper in Canada because they aren't looking for excessive profits and Canada has a Socialized Healthcare.

Canada isn't always cheap. I've had antibiotics in Canada prescribed for me that were $20(USD). I avoided this by remembering that I had purchased some at Thailand, at a pharmacy($1.20 USD).


Garbage https://hhklawfirm.com/tort-reform-bad-idea/
#15202187
Godstud wrote:@Puffer Fish I highly doubt that being able to sue a company is the reason for the high price.


Why should he care what you doubt? Why do you consider yourself an expert on law or business? I have seen no indication that you know anything about law at all. You don't understand lawsuits or judges.
Your claims about post election lawsuits are ludicrous.
#15202191
Godstud wrote:@Puffer Fish I highly doubt that being able to sue a company is the reason for the high price. You still have that option in Thailand, so that's not the biggest contributing factor. Companies still have legal responsibilities no matter where they are, and legal options ARE available in Thailand. It's nice to pretend that's not the case, though.

What it is the capitalist exploitation of pharmaceuticals and healthcare(when allowed).



OHHH! Well, if ya don't like capitalism, move your ass to Cuba or North Korea. (That is assuming they will accept you)
#15202203
Exploitive capitalism is not good for anyone. There has to be checks and balances for everything, and you comment is silly. Cuba, despite being Communist, like China, Laos, Vietnam, etc. has a capitalist economy.

Selling a $17 drug for $700 is deserving of derision, and most people would agree with that. It's exploiting people at their weakest, and with something that saves their life. Even capitalist democratic societies don't like that, which is why Martin Shkreli was nailed to the wall.

I suppose you'd prefer the fire department showing up to your burning house and then charging an exorbitant fee to save your house from the fire? No, wait. You don't have to worry about that because of a socialist policy, which prevents capitalist exploitation.
#15202204
Godstud wrote:Exploitive capitalism is not good for anyone. There has to be checks and balances for everything

Capitalism has oodles of Checks and balances. If a company charges it's customers too much, they will buy from his competitors. If he underpays his workers, they will take jobs elsewhere. If he does not keep his costs under control, he will lose money and go out of business. If he does not treat his customers well, they will buy elsewhere. In addition, the USA has a thing called antitrust law, which prevents any company from becoming too big. You obviously don't know beans about business.








Cuba, despite being Communist, like China, Laos, Vietnam, etc. has a capitalist economy.


Thats a LIE



Cuba has had a socialist political system since 1959 based on the "one state – one party" principle. Cuba is constitutionally defined as a Marxist–Leninist socialist state guided in part by the political ideas of Karl Marx, one of the fathers of historical materialism, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin.

Politics of Cuba - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org › wiki ›
#15202210
@ArthurTandy1 Are going to tell me that China doesn't have a capitalist economy, too? What do you know about Vietnam or Laos?


“Americans Don’t Know How Capitalist China Is”
https://hbr.org/2021/05/americans-dont- ... t-china-is


As for Cuba...

Here's a good article.
After a long wait, Cuba opens the door to more capitalism
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/09/amer ... index.html


Also, you didn't address exploitive/predatory capitalism.

A couple of years before he was convicted of securities fraud, Martin Shkreli was the chief executive of a pharmaceutical company that acquired the rights to Daraprim, a lifesaving antiparasitic drug. Previously the drug cost $13.50 a pill, but in Shkreli’s hands, the price quickly increased by a factor of 56, to $750 a pill. At a health care conference, Shkreli told the audience that he should have raised the price even higher. “No one wants to say it, no one’s proud of it,” he explained. “But this is a capitalist society, a capitalist system and capitalist rules.”

This is a capitalist society. It’s a fatalistic mantra that seems to get repeated to anyone who questions why America can’t be more fair or equal. But around the world, there are many types of capitalist societies, ranging from liberating to exploitative, protective to abusive, democratic to unregulated. When Americans declare that “we live in a capitalist society” — as a real estate mogul told The Miami Herald last year when explaining his feelings about small-business owners being evicted from their Little Haiti storefronts — what they’re often defending is our nation’s peculiarly brutal economy. “Low-road capitalism,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Joel Rogers has called it. In a capitalist society that goes low, wages are depressed as businesses compete over the price, not the quality, of goods; so-called unskilled workers are typically incentivized through punishments, not promotions; inequality reigns and poverty spreads. In the United States, the richest 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of the country’s wealth, while a larger share of working-age people (18-65) live in poverty than in any other nation belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.).

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... alism.html

A really good article on it, too.
What the vaccine debacle tells us about predatory capitalism
The botched COVID-19 vaccination campaign is a great illustration of why our current capitalist system does not work.

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021 ... capitalism
#15203309
ArthurTandy1 wrote:Garbage https://hhklawfirm.com/tort-reform-bad-idea/

"Tort reform" is another issue which we could have a long debate about, in some other discussion.
The issue, as I see it is, is that writing simple laws to be able to precisely fit all sorts of different situations does not work too well. That is a cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach.
But on the other hand, it appears that we as a society can't always trust judges or juries to make these decisions, to make fair and reasonable decisions as to how much money a victim should actually be given.
So that is the inherent conundrum.

One idea might be to write very specific and complicated laws to give judges guidance on what decision to make, but not tell them what they have to decide. (This is something the legislature is probably not even well equipped to be able to do)
Another idea might be to have the medical liability cases go before special judges who are specially trained and focus only in that area.
Often making the right decisions probably requires some sort of expertise, of course in the law, but also a familiarity with medical practice.

If people want full coverage in case something goes wrong, maybe they should be made to buy special extra liability insurance and have to pay an extra surcharge for that before their medical procedure.

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