Drug Companies Need To Be Regulated

The prices for prescription drugs in America are completely out-of-control to a point where the federal government must step in and regulate. Although Congressional Republicans will certainly oppose any intervention, the public needs to understand the issue, so they can elect Democrats, who may impose controls.

As a diabetic, I must inject insulin twice a day. The product I use is Novolog, manufactured by Novo Nordisk of Denmark. Its main competitor is Humalog, by Eli Lily Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Because affordable health insurance is unavailable for me, I must pay cash for one of these medications. The problem is drug prices have been galloping upward, far greater than the rate of inflation, for some time now, and without reason.

When I was living in the Netherlands in 2007, a single bottle of Novolog cost 25 Euro, which translated to $33.00. In 2008, after returning to Wisconsin, the identical vile of insulin cost $91.77, almost three times the regulated Dutch price.

When I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2009, I shopped for the cheapest insulin, and started buying Novolog at a Walgreen’s, where it was $104.28 per bottle. It stayed at that price for a year.

In April 2010, the price increased to $109.99 per bottle, but that lasted only a few months. By Oct. 2010, the cost of the little insulin bottle had jumped to $121.99.

Three quarters of a year later, in July 2011, at a Walgreen’s back in Wisconsin, the price climbed once again to $132.99. I now pay $100 more per bottle than I did just five years ago.

Unfortunately, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have a virtual monopoly as they control the world’s supply of insulin. Consumers have no choice, but to pay their unreasonable prices.

It’s not as if the drug companies need money. Eli Lilly grossed 23 billion in revenues in 2010, and realized over 5 billion dollars in profits.  Meanwhile, the profits at Novo Nordisk jumped 34% from 10.77 billion Kroner in 2009 to 14.4 billion Kroner in 2010.

As the greedy and selfish drug company personnel reward themselves at corporate outings with outrageously lavish paychecks and bonuses, someone should tell them their drug prices are unconscionable, and it is immoral to make billions off the backs of those who need their drugs, just to stay alive.

On the assumption the pharmaceutical companies could care less about the immorality of their abusive and obscene prices, the government needs to step in and take control by regulating them.


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