Skyrocketing Prescription Medication Prices Are Putting Lives At Risk

prescrption medication costs
Photo Credit: ParentingPatch/Wikimedia Commons

There are many things that qualify the United States as one of the most vile and amoral nations in the world, including, but not limited to, inflated defense spending, its distended prison-industrial complex, and its burgeoning oligarchy/corporatocracy. This isn’t a nation that, overall, seems to give a shit about those in the most desperate need. Need proof? Look no further than recent news about a certain CEO who decided that raising the cost of a prescription medication, Daraprim, 5,500 percent was an “altruistic” idea.

Recently, that aforementioned douche-canoe backed down from his Uncle Pennybags-like stance, but the damage has been done. We’re all talking about the cost of prescription medication and how America sucks hard in this field. We’re talking about how prescription medication is a profit-driven branch of the profit-driven tree of healthcare in America. We’re talking about how American healthcare is a scam and how, unfortunately, that scam is one of the most influential players on whether someone lives or dies.

We’re talking about how Americans are forced to play Russian Roulette when it comes to their well-being.

But that’s how things go in our beloved country. We see it every day. Don’t believe me? Well, look no further than how much the shit Big Pharma claims will save our lives costs. In our narrow, America-centric view, the cost of prescription medication is the cost of prescription medication. We should just accept it and move on, yes?

Well, no, especially when you consider information easily attainable for those willing devote their attention to something other than the upcoming iPhone.

In the United States, prescription medication costs can be up to ten times higher than in other developed nations. This is why we suck. According to 2013 data (the latest year available) accumulated by the International Federation of Health Plans, the United States is to prescription medication costs what Ghenghis Khan was to nation-building.

Consider Enbrel, that prescription medication frequently advertised by washed-up golfer Phil Mickelson while you’re eating Cheerios during Good Morning America. Enbrel is an autoimmune prescription used similarly to Daraprim, whose monthly costs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands amount to $1,646, $1,117, $1,386, and $1,509, respectively. How much does Mickelson’s wonder-drug cost in the United States per month? About $3,000 — about 182 percent higher than Canada and nearly double the monthly cost of Enbrel in the United Kingdom.

I will admit, Enbrel is a very specific type of prescription medication used for a very specific set of problems. After all, it’s not like there are copious amounts of people in the United States suffering from autoimmune disorders. Perhaps this is an unfair comparison?

Then consider Nexium, that purple pill for people whose stomach acid frequently stages insurrections against them. In Canada, a month of prescription Nexium costs about $30. In the United Kingdom, $42. Spain and the Netherlands? $58 and $23, respectively. So, how much does a month of heartburn relief cost in the United States? $305. That’s more than five times higher than Spain and 10 times higher than Canada.

So, what’s the deal? Why does this happen?

Price gouging, unfortunately, is as common in the United States as adults who believe angels are real. Furthermore, prescription medication price gouging is good business, at least as far as American pharmaceuticals is concerned. Everyone’s life has a price and if that price cannot be met, that person will die or will suffer immensely. The system is blatantly corrupt and making matters worse is that the corruption is allowed to persist, even though we know it’s corrupt.

It’s highly illogical and flagrantly destructive. But, it’s what we do, and it’s why we suck.

Robert could go on about how he was raised by honey badgers in the Texas Hill Country, or how he was elected to the Texas state legislature as a 19-year-old wunderkind, or how he won 219 consecutive games of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots against Hugh Grant, but those would be lies. However, Robert does hail from Lewisville, Texas, having been transplanted from Fort Worth at a young age. Robert is a college student and focuses his studies on philosophical dilemmas involving morality, which he feels makes him very qualified to write about politicians. Reading the Bible turned Robert into an atheist, a combative disposition toward greed turned him into a humanist, and the fact he has not lost a game of Madden football in over a decade means you can call him "Zeus." If you would like to be his friend, you can send him a Facebook request or follow his ramblings on Twitter. For additional content that may not make it to Liberal America, Robert's internet tavern, The Zephyr Lounge, is always open