Prescription Healthcare Drug Price Control
Prescription drug companies in the U.S. charge exorbitant prices simply because they can. And they can because a majority of those in Congress and other areas of government are unable to resist the huge personal benefits arising from their corruption by drug companies.
Medicare alone spends over a billion dollars a year; astonishingly, Congressional legislation makes it illegal for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, though private healthcare plans can negotiate. By itself, this private negotiating power looks beneficial, but it causes a highly fractured market where each buyer has little power to make a good deal with big pharma.
Total lobbying spending in 2016 was $3.15 Billion with 9.617 registered lobbyists (OpenSecrets); Pharmaceutical/Health’s portion was $78 Million with 1,149 lobbyists (OpenSecrets). Comparisons and explanations are shown in a 3-min. video. Total drug sales in the U.S are now 446 billion per year (46% of worldwide drug sales) (Statista).
Periodically, a bill is introduced in Congress (e,g, in 2015, 114th Congress, 1st Session S. 31, latest action:
01/06/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance) to resolve this issue, but they always fail under big-pharma’s gigantic influence. An Indirect Initiative containing this type of bill could be proposed by the People, approved by the IQA, and sent to Congress – a straightforward process. If it were not passed without good reason in Congress, then the IQA could process it as a Direct Initiative for the People’s vote at the next Federal Election.