Tuesday, December 07, 2004

re: Drug Industry Must Change Its Ways To Improve Its Image re: Drug Industry Must Change Its Ways To Improve Its Image

Drug Industry Must Change Its Ways To Improve Its Image by Mort Kondracke makes some interesting points about the drug industry . He does make good points though. In particular, he points out that the idea of reimporting drugs from Canada is ludicrous.

Drugs are cheaper there because of price controls. But as a result, the Canadians free ride on U.S. consumers of drugs for development of such. Without the U.S. consumers paying full price, new drugs won’t get to market.

The drug companies are facing one of two major alternatives with Canada. They can either limit their sales there (which is happening with increasing regularity) to an amount approximating Canadian demand, or they can just cut Canada off. No wonder the Canadian government has no interest in helping U.S. patients get low cost drugs through reimportation - in the long run that is just going to hurt Canadian consumers, either from scarcity, or from higher prices. The third alternative, raising prices, won't work because of the price controls.

I also thought that his point about advertising was on point. I too find it absurd that drug companies are suggesting that people ask their physicians whether a certain drug is appropriate for them, without any indication what that drug might be useful for.

I may be a little cynical, but expect that much of this advertising is aimed at “seasoned� citizens, some of whom spend a lot of their time and energy worrying about this sort of thing.

So, I have a vision of a physician patiently explaining to some older woman that this first drug is inappropriate for her because she is the wrong sex. The second drug is inappropriate for her because she doesn’t have high blood pressure. The third one is inappropriate because of …

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