Can we take a look at the big “buying drugs from Canada” debate? For a minute? Please? Okay great. Thanks. I’ll just be a minute.
Let’s look at this completely logically, because right now, it seems like the debate couldn’t be any more ludicrous.
* Big Pharma is, of course, trying to keep this from happening. The US is the only developed country that doesn’t have some sort of bulk-purchasing plan. Hence, Americans pay a hell of a lot more to American companies for their prescription drugs than any other non-American does. (You’d think the way the political climate is, they’d try to overcharge France or Germany. But no.)
* Lawmakers Are Negotiating Import of Prescription Drugs (NYT link) from Canada, and of course, Big Pharma is trying to fight it. (They claim to be concerned for Americans’ safety, since there have been ALL those outbreaks in Canada of fake pills being distributed. Nice try, Pharma.)
* Americans (or our legislators) seem to think we’re so entirely anti-government that we’re willing to buy from for-profit pharmacies in Canada instead of just instituting a nation-wide bulk-purchasing plan here in the US. Note: We already have several, through the VA and the Department of Defense. I’d argue Americans are more anti-getting-ripped-off than anti-government, and if the US government could get us drugs even cheaper than Canada (since we have a larger population base), and have them closer to people (instead of having them shipped from Canada, being able to pick them up down the block), this would be a Good Thing.
What the hell is going on here? We trust the Canadian government, but not our own? We wouldn’t even have to create a new program–just expand one of the current ones. Could we be logical about this? Or even economical? Unless I’m missing something, I’m having a really hard time seeing how buying drugs from Canada, and exporting a gigantic sum of money to their economy is as useful as establishing a similar bulk program here, and keeping the money in our own country. (Sorry, Canada.) And if there’s some sort of “socialized medicine” argument here, hanged if I know where to find it. This is pills, not people.