Friday, May 3, 2013

We Get It Coming and Going

Trey Smith

Each year, millions of Americans are dealt the devastating news that they have cancer, and each year, millions of Americans, many of whom are uninsured, have to figure out how to pay for the life-saving treatments that they need.

And unfortunately, that decision can be a very hard one.

Thanks to America’s for-profit health insurance industry, prescription drugs are a big business.

In fact, in 2012, the top 11 global drug companies made nearly $85 billion in net profits.

They made these profits by slapping extraordinary price tags on the prescription drugs and health treatments that Americans are forced to rely on in order to survive devastating diseases like cancer.

But while drug companies have been largely able to get away with robbing Americans left and right for the past several decades, more and more people are speaking up about the outrageous costs of lifesaving treatments.

A group of more than 100 leading oncologists from across the globe have penned a journal article, announcing their plans to start a campaign to force drug companies to slash their profit margins.

In the article, the groups of oncologists ask, “What determines a morally justifiable price for a cancer drug? A reasonable drug price should maintain healthy pharmaceutical industry profits without being viewed as 'profiteering'.”
~ from How Big Pharma Is Killing Americans by Thom Hartmann ~
I share this snippet not as fodder to write a rant aimed specifically at pharmaceutical corporations. It is more to point out that we get it coming and going. Because of our economic model, we allow companies to produce all sorts of vile substances that make us sick and then, when we become sick, we are price gouged via the medicines that can make us better or, at least, prolong our compromised lives!

This situation is a direct byproduct of not merely allowing but promoting the idea that short-term profits are more important than life itself. In order to insure that a small minority is allowed to fatten their pocketbooks at will, the vast majority of us are sacrificed on the alter of greed.

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