And think of the next level: big pharma gets sick of being undercut by big insurance, so they decide to start offering health plans. Probably in cabals of a few drug companies so they can span the spectrum of drugs. And not only that, but they’ll restrict the best prices on their patented medicines to only those on their health plan, and later will restrict even their generics to their own plan members. See where this is going? To shit, that’s where. That’s why we need a national system. It’s about to get very shitty for everyone.
That’s why we need a national system.
If the driving ethic for companies was “the provision of goods and services”, then you could almost swallow how a private system might work. With the driving ethic as “shareholder value”, not so much.
It’s a problem everywhere, I mean, look at the board of directors for Boeing and tell me how many aerospace pioneers and lifetime engineers are on it…
And what’s worse is seeing the Democrats battle about Medicare for all! …No, single payer! …No, public/private! …No, universal coverage with a voucher system! No! FlibbertyfloobityCare! No, BidenCare because BernieCare sucks! I mean pleaaaaase. All I care is that the health care industry grifters and profiteers get the wind sucked out of their sails. Somehow get capitalism out of life or death decisions. They are in the wrong place. I don’t care if it gets called FecesCare, just get the job done already.
Not always. Twenty years ago Knoll Pharmaceuticals waged a media war against levothyroxine, a generic bio equivalent to their branded Synthroid. They claimed that generics were not as safe as branded products, and convinced many in the health care industry that all generics are bad.
And for years they made hundreds of millions of dollars off that fear.
Meanwhile, study after study proved equivalent results. There were no safety or health differences.
It took a class action lawsuit to stop their deceptive practices, but the taint of their propaganda lingers on today in a cloud of mistrust surrounding generics.
It’s surprisingly difficult today for Google to return much info on this historic lawsuit. I suspect there’s an ongoing campaign to remove its online history, ant to promote books that incite more unfounded fears.
That cloud miraculously clears up every time I go to the grocery store and see Zyrtec on the shelf: 70 pills for $35 vs. store brand generic sitting right next to it: 400 pills for $24.
No, insurance companies are heavily invested in the health and best interests of their members, er, patients. Any change in revenue will result in lower premiums, copays, and deductibles. Haven’t you heard of Trickle Down Health Care? It works the same as Trickle Down Economics. The Trump tax cuts prove this.
Fortunately, price often helps restore rational thought to the process.
But the cloud returns every time I hear a doctor prescribing a brand name and/or dissing a generic — which has happened to me on occasion.
I have no way of telling if they’re saying this because they still believe a discredited 20-year-old old smear campaign (virtually no different than the modern anti-vax movement’s discredited autism studies, only better funded); or if a pharma rep just got done presenting their overpriced trivial modifications: “now in patented extended release capsules not available in generics”; or if a new branded drug really does have efficacy or side-effect improvements over the older generics that used to treat the condition (i.e. ”Brilinta has fewer side effects than warfarin”, that sort of thing.)
And that’s the real problem with these clouds of doubt. They may be hiding an actual mountain so we believe they’re dangerous to fly through, but it’s the guy selling aviation fuel who is the one telling us “those clouds are scary, you should fly the long way around them!”
Just FYI, there can be differences between generics and brand name rx. Not suggesting they are perfectly equal in all cases.
The system works!!
I’ll see your “20 year old smear campaign” (I’m assuming were talking about the Knoll Pharmaceuticals issue from your previous post) and raise you the Teva generic Wellbutrin XL debacle.
Teva’s generic version of Wellbutrin XL 300mg (an antidepressant) was pulled off the market in 2012 after the FDA determined the pills were not bio-equivalent. Instead they worsened symptoms, and in some cases caused seizures that became chronic. And it took the FDA six years to take this action despite the mountain of patient complaints that began almost immediately after Teva’s generic hit the market.
So yeah, it’s complicated. https://www.propublica.org/article/no-substitute-when-a-generic-drug-isnt-what-it-seems
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