Oftentimes more than double the
Pharma corporations are spending their cash on research ‘for the cure’ and finding ways to implement life-saving ingredients into their next formula, right? As it turns out, 9 out of 10 Big Pharma companies actually spent more on their sales and marketing than their research and development.
In the infographic below, checkout the 2013 spending habits of the top 10 Big Pharma corporations:
The Truth About the Drug Companies
By Marcia Angell, M.D.
For a two-page summary of the health cover-up, click here
Paying for prescription drugs is no longer a problem just for poor people. As the economy continues to struggle ... employers are requiring workers to pay more of the costs themselves. Since prescription drug costs are rising so fast, payers are particularly eager to get out from under them by shifting costs to individuals. The result is that more people have to pay a greater fraction of their drug bills out of pocket. And that packs a wallop.
Many of them simply can't do it. They trade off drugs against home heating or food. Some people try to string out their drugs by taking them less often than prescribed, or sharing them with a spouse. Others, too embarrassed to admit that they can't afford to pay for drugs, leave their doctors' offices with prescriptions in hand but don't have them filled. Not only do these patients go without needed treatment but their doctors sometimes wrongly conclude that the drugs they prescribed haven't worked and prescribe yet others—thus compounding the problem.
When Medicare was enacted in 1965, people took far fewer prescription drugs and they were cheap. For that reason, no one thought it necessary to include an outpatient prescription drug benefit in the program. In those days, senior citizens could generally afford to buy whatever drugs they needed out of pocket. Approximately half to two thirds of the elderly have supplementary insurance that partly covers prescription drugs, but that percentage is dropping as employers and insurers decide it is a losing proposition for them.
For obvious reasons, the elderly tend to need more prescription drugs than younger people—mainly for chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol. In 2001, nearly one in four seniors reported that they skipped doses or did not fill prescriptions because of the cost. (That fraction is almost certainly higher now.) Sadly, the frailest are the least likely to have supplementary insurance.
Furthermore, in one of the more perverse of the pharmaceutical industry's practices, prices are much higher for precisely the people who most need the drugs and can least afford them. The industry charges Medicare recipients without supplementary insurance much more than it does favored customers, such as large HMOs or the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Because the latter buy in bulk, they can bargain for steep discounts or rebates. People without insurance have no bargaining power; and so they pay the highest prices.
In the past two years, we have started to see, for the first time, the beginnings of public resistance to rapacious pricing and other dubious practices of the pharmaceutical industry. It is mainly because of this resistance that drug companies are now blanketing us with public relations messages. And the magic words, repeated over and over like an incantation, are research, innovation, and American. Research. Innovation. American. It makes a great story.
But while the rhetoric is stirring, it has very little to do with reality. First, . In fact, year after year, for over two decades, this industry has been far and away the most profitable in the United States. (In 2003, for the first time, the industry lost its first-place position, coming in third, behind "mining, crude oil production," and "commercial banks.") The prices drug companies charge have little relationship to the costs of making the drugs and could be cut dramatically without coming anywhere close to threatening R&D.
Second, the pharmaceutical industry is not especially innovative. As hard as it is to believe, only a handful of truly important drugs have been brought to market in recent years, and they were mostly based on taxpayer-funded research at academic institutions, small biotechnology companies, or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The idea is to grab a share of an established, lucrative market by producing something very similar to a top-selling drug. For instance, we now have six statins (Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, and the newest, Crestor) on the market to lower cholesterol, all variants of the first. As Dr. Sharon Levine, associate executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, put it:
Third, the industry is hardly a model of American free enterprise. To be sure, it is free to decide which drugs to develop (me-too drugs instead of innovative ones, for instance), and it is free to price them as high as the traffic will bear, but it is utterly dependent on government-granted monopolies—in the form of patents and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved exclusive marketing rights. If it is not particularly innovative in discovering new drugs, it is highly innovative—and aggressive—in dreaming up ways to extend its monopoly rights.
And there is nothing peculiarly American about this industry. It is the very essence of a global enterprise. (The exact count shifts because of mergers.) In 2002, the top ten were the American companies Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Wyeth (formerly American Home Products); the British companies GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca; the Swiss companies Novartis and Roche; and the French company Aventis (which in 2004 merged with another French company, Sanafi Synthelabo, putting it in third place).  All are much alike in their operations. All price their drugs much higher here than in other markets.
More here: http://www.wanttoknow.info/truthaboutdrugcompanies
TO OVERHAUL THE CORPORATE TAX CODE START WITH DRUG COMPANIES:
Dollars for Doctors
Dollars for Docs: How Industry Dollars Reach Your Doctors
by Eric Sagara, Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Jeremy B. Merrill, ProPublica, Updated Sept. 29, 2014
In recent years, drug companies have started releasing details of the payments they make to doctors and other health professionals for promotional talks, research and consulting. As of 2014, 17 companies published the information, most because of legal settlements. Use this tool to search for payments.
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