The financial raping of America by Big Pharma has just achieved a new milestone with the impending launch of a Hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 a pill. If you’ve ever wondered why U.S. health care is so unaffordable and inaccessible – and why health insurance costs are bankrupting businesses and municipalities across the nation – this is exactly why. The same drug that sells for $1,000 a pill in the USA – named “Sovaldi” – sells for just $10 in Egypt, or 1/100th the USA price.
Drug companies are, of course, granted FDA-enforced monopolies on the treatment of anything considered a “disease.” As such, drugs are pushed into the marketplace at monopoly prices. Because if you’re the CEO of Gilead Sciences, Inc., makers of the Sovaldi drug to be sold at $1,000 a pill, your job is to maximize revenues by any means necessary. When you’re handed a monopoly by the FDA, the strategy for achieving that is simple: Raise the price to whatever you can get away with, then bill the insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid for $100, $500 or even $1,000 a pill.
Even if one pill of Sovaldi only costs 68 cents to manufacture, it will still be sold at $1,000 a pill because that’s what the company demands. At this price, a course of treatment runs $84,000 in the USA. Gilead reduces the price to $57,000 in the UK – apparently in a completely arbitrary manner based on whatever it can get for the drug rather than the drug’s actual cost or value.
How much does this drug actually cost to produce? Consider this shocking fact, as reported by CNBC:
Gilead confirmed that it had agreed to supply the new drug in Egypt — which has the world’s highest prevalence of the virus due to use of contaminated needles in the 1970s — at around $900 for a 12-week course of therapy, or about 1 percent of the U.S. price.
Yep, the same drug sold in the USA for $84,000 is sold in Egypt for $900 – and the company still makes a profit!
What we are likely looking at with this drug is something approaching a 100,000% mark-up. In any other industry, that would be called “profiteering.”