Corruption in pharmaceutical industry

With a reliance on medicine, it is becoming evident how corrupt the pharmaceutical industry is.

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With a reliance on medicine, it is becoming evident how corrupt the pharmaceutical industry is.

Colt Beat, Memorial Staff Writer

The North American pharmaceutical industry is worth an estimated $341 billion and is responsible for around 37 percent of the prescription drug market.

With the global population having a reliance on medicine, drug developers and researchers within the pharmaceutical business have the ability to control the price ranges of certain products in exchange for large profit margin, ultimately increasing revenue.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects pharmaceutical spending to grow an average of 6.3 percent per year from 2016 to 2025, due to the increase on spending for insurance coverage, a necessary accommodation in order to afford the rising prices of pills.

Becoming most evident when Mylan, the company who owns EpiPen, raised the price of the life-saving device up nearly 400 percent, where an EpiPen in 2007 cost a little under $100, and currently sits at the price of $600. The reasoning behind this is simply greed, as the cost of manufacturing of the device did not increase. There is no competitor for the EpiPen because in 2012 the device was the only auto injector medicine to treat anaphylaxis, or allergic reactions.

Generic variations of certain medications of the brand names are available and, in most times, are cheaper. Along with the different forms of pills, it seems the newer the drug is, the higher price it is, which is apparent when comparing Adderall with Vyvanse, both medications that treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As Vyvanse is such a new drug, there no generic forms available, while Adderall has pills like amphetamine and dextroamphetamine simulating the composition of Adderall.

The answer to the over priced prescriptions is simply offering more generic forms of medication. If companies like Mylan are charging hundreds of dollars for a life saving medication, then there should be investments within the company to offer a cheaper version with the same effects.

Medicine is debatably the driving force to maintaining one’s physical and psychological health. If an individual has a learning disability, struggles with mental health or is ill, chances are there is a pill or treatment they can take for relief. When it comes to the price of pills, it is absurd that individuals are having to pay unreasonable prices for a medication that can determine life or death, or help keep one’s mental health in check.


Contact Colt Beat at [email protected]