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Understanding the Etiology of the Many Pfizer Professorships in Obesity

It’s simple to understand, actually. Fat cats like to study profit-fattening.

While other pharmaceutical companies don’t raise their drug prices fifty-fold in one fell swoop, as did [Martin] Shkreli, they would if they thought it would lead to fat profits.

Most have been increasing their prices more than 10 percent a year – still far faster than inflation – on drugs used on common diseases like cancer, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

This has imposed a far bigger burden on health spending than Shkreli’s escapades, making it much harder for Americans to pay for drugs they need. Even if they’re insured, most people are paying out big sums in co-payments and deductibles.

Not to mention the impact on private insurers, Medicare, state Medicaid, prisons and the Veterans Health Administration.

And the prices of new drugs are sky-high. Pfizer’s new one to treat advanced breast cancer costs $9,850 a month.

According to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, that price isn’t based on manufacturing or research costs.

Instead, Pfizer set the price as high as possible without pushing doctors and insurers toward alternative drugs.

How fat can our profits get? How can we go almost as far as Shkreli without attracting attention? How expandable, when you get down to it, is greed?

Margaret Soltan, December 28, 2015 10:33AM
Posted in: march of science

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4 Responses to “Understanding the Etiology of the Many Pfizer Professorships in Obesity”

  1. Jack/OH Says:

    Americans can thank their group health insurance and its actuarial sequelae for delivering oceans of money to Big Medicine, all the while pretending there are no alternatives and no consequences.

    Has anyone noticed that group health insurance works as a poorly checked and destructive excise tax on labor? Probably not. Maybe the first rule of Insurance Club is we don’t talk about Insurance Club.

  2. Anon Says:

    Or is it that America can thank Big Medicine, who has vigorously opposed every effort to move towards a national health system, for its reliance on private group health insurance?

  3. Jack/OH Says:

    Anon, thanks. The AMA in May, 1943 suggested Clarence Rorem’s failing and extraordinarily stupid group health insurance idea to America’s Big Business as a way of blocking the national health care plan then in progress.

    Big Business bought it for its own reason, as a way of playing ball with the pro-socialist American Zeitgeist of the period, which might have socialized profits under the guise of full employment schemes. National health care died a quiet death.

    Physicians in the 1950s and 1960s often sniffed at group health insurance payments. Socialized medicine, all that. By the mid-1970s, Medicare and its super-inflationary effects had made medicine so expensive that physicians began screening new cash patients from treatment. We’ve been living with the consequences of their decision ever since.

  4. Sean O Says:

    That’s why the powers that be had to Shssh up Shkreil.
    He was bald, brazen, out there & obvious in his greed &
    his complete lack of concern for people actually
    in need of drugs to improve their health.

    That won’t do at the Big Pharma boardrooms.
    They require & revel in the gloss of themselves
    as do gooders using science & research to heal people.
    Never mind they are just more cautious scheming Shkrelis.

    Better for the public to actually SEE who they are dealing with.

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