I’m infuriated about the price some folks have to pay for their life-saving insulin. Big Pharma knows it’s a major PR problem for them. Scott Benner is the father of a T1 diabetic girl, Arden. He attended Novo Nordisk’s recent PR conference in Indianapolis.
“If you think that you have a commonsense idea that fixes the problem – I promise that you don’t. The issue of insulin pricing, in my estimation, is a microcosmos of every political stalemate that I’ve ever considered. On the surface it feels like someone just needs to do the “right thing”. Problem is, there are too many ‘someones’ and they all hold a different version of what doing the ‘right thing’ means. – no magic wand.”
I tried to leave a comment at Scott’s blog but couldn’t get it to work. So here it is:
I suspect Sarah P (an earlier commenter) is on the right track.
How much does Novo Nordisk sell their insulin for in socialized systems like Britain’s National Health Service? I bet it’s a lot lower than the retail price in the U.S. And yet they are quite likely making a decent profit on sales in the U.K.
On the other hand, if the U.S. market is subsidizing markedly lower drug prices in other countries, that needs to change.
Many drugs are dramatically cheaper outside the U.S. Look up hepatitis C treatment and rattlesnake anti-venom, for example. But I can’t cross the border into Mexico, buy those drugs, then return to the States and sell them here at a lower price. That’s illegal. Big Pharma would never allow that law to be changed.