Do you know what these drugs are for? Doesn't matter. You still need them. That is, if you are susceptible to TV advertising. So, go pester you primary care physician until he writes you a prescription. They're outrageously expensive, but your medical insurance will pick it up. Right.
Pharmaceuticals for social anxiety, tumescence, allergies, bladder control, hair loss, insomnia, intelligence. Cures for problems you didn't even know you had. Sometimes, the great pharmaceuticals manufacture the disease just so they can tell the pill.
In the 1800's there were snake oil salesmen. In the 21st Century there are drug manufacturers. And the price has gone up. No wonder. Advertising is verrrrry expensive. Drug companies are spending millions on advertising drugs that only a doctor can prescribe. Insurance will cover it. It's gotta be a conspiracy between the insurance companies and the drug companies. And, possibly, government agencies.
The excuse for the high cost of prescription drugs is that the research and development costs are huge. Right. But those costs are also covered by Federal research grants, and funds raised by all those charities, and well-meaning contributors to cure one disease or another. Where do the advertising funds come from? For that matter, where do the funds come from for paying for the lobbying of Congress and the FDA? And why are prescription drugs cheaper in Canada and Mexico?
Congress has passed a bill amending Medicare provisions in Social Security. Pressure from politically-active elderly paying exhorbitant-priced prescription drugs for their many ailments. The law-makers probably can't enact any laws to benefit the rest of us on this issue. Probably more of a matter for the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to investigate price-fixing. But FTC and Justice are devoting their efforts at nailing Microsoft and have little interest in attacking old, established drug price-fixing.
Take a look at the BILL. It requires the contracting for an official (Government) website for the sale of competitively priced domestic and international prescription drugs. Wow! Pay special attention to the section on WAIVER OF RESTRICTION ON REENTRY OF EXPORTED DRUGS.
There's hope yet. Right? Don't be so naive. FDA says that it cannot allow "reimportation" of pharmaceuticals for the lame excuse of labeling requirements. FDA defying Congress? Gee wiz. FDA isn't supposed to protect the pharmaceutical manufacturers. It's supposed to protect the citizens. Get real. Think about where an FDA appointee will find a job when there's an administration turnover. Where else—the pharmaceuticals industry. They certainly don't want to antagonize a future employer. And you thought it was just collusion in the military-industrial complex.
What can you do about this? As usual, there's nothing you can do.
If you want the facts from a real newspaper, click here for a recent Washington Post article on the subject.
More information? Read John LeCarré's new book, "The Constant Gardener".