Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 12, 2013

Competitive market for drugs?

I can say a few really positive things about writing a column for the past couple of years.

I never dreamed that I would receive so many suggestions and articles that folks want to hear about. I have learned so much from the articles sent and suggestions from folks to investigate and research. I hope that in some small way I have helped bring light in a practical way on these subjects that affect so many of us. I appreciate receiving your suggestions and numerous articles that bring light to all of us.

I received an article this week from a colleague written by Elizabeth Rosenthal that explains how severely the cost increases in common needed drugs for Asthma have affected those people suffering from this illness.

I find it hard to believe that our political leaders tolerate this type of actions under the guise of free market systems.

Let’s just explore some of the issues raised in this lady’s article and tell me what you think. It starts with a Mom trying to take care of two daughters suffering from severe Asthma problems. The title of the Article is: “The Soaring Cost of a single Breath.”

“The kitchen counter in the home of the Hayes family is scattered with the inhalers, sprays and bottles of pills that have allowed Hannah, 13, and her sister, Abby, 10, to excel at dance and gymnastics despite a horrific pollen season that has set off asthmaattacks, leaving the girls struggling to breathe.”

“The arsenal of medicines in the Hayeses’ kitchen helps explain why. Pulmicort, a steroid inhaler, generally retails for over $175 in the United States, while pharmacists in Britain buy the identical product for about $20 and dispense it free of charge to asthma patients. Albuterol, one of the oldest asthma medicines, typically costs $50 to $100 per inhaler in the United States, but it was less than $15 a decade ago, before it was re-patented.

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