Friday, January 15, 2010

'Give Me What I Want, Or I Will Kill Your Baby'

That's what Big PHrMA has said, in effect, to Obama: don't cut the period of patent protection of biologics from 12 to 10 years, or we will withdraw our support from your healthcare bill.

But remember, kids, medications are your friends...

Afterthought: Consider me as an example. There are five prescription medications I take every day, month in, month out, for my chronic conditions. All are carefully chosen to be available in generics, and in particular, to be available at $4 for a month's supply or $10 for a three months' supply. There is at least one exception for which a month's supply, even for the generic, is $24; don't ask me for an explanation. All these meds are years, in most cases, decades, out of the development phase. Profits have been made and paid, high-priced parties thrown, and laughs laughed about the expense to the poor schmoes who pay for it all. In a society truly interested in motivating the invention and development of more effective medicines, that ought to be enough.

But suppose the price of each med was $24/month. Hell, suppose it was $89 or $129/month; I've been quoted those figures for some non-generics. Suppose... this is not just a supposition; I've had it happen... suppose the prices were $500, $600, $700 a month. Guess who doesn't get his or her medication? Hint: it isn't Barack Obama, and it isn't any executive in the employ of Big PHrMA. You can read the handwriting as clearly as I can.

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