THE ETHICS SAGE TALKS ABOUT PRICE GOUGING
The Ethics Sage latest post deals with price gouging in prescription medicine. He discusses the social responsibility of business and goes into some detail about his preference for a free market solution.
I am more and more convinced as time has gone by that the pharmaceutical companies have failed in serving the public and that some kind of government intervention to prevent price gouging and selling prescription medicines for other than their FDA approved uses is going to necessary.
However, the Ethics Sage is worthy of reading. You should put him in your favorites, visit often and perhaps, even sign up as a follower.
Below is a selection from his latest essay. I recommend you visit his web site and read it in full.
Recently a group of 118 oncologists came out in an editorial in the Mayo Clinic medical journal to support a grassroots patient effort to push for fairer prices from drug companies. According to the editorial, many cancer patients are bankrupted by the high cost of care even for insured patients for treatment that costs $120,000 a year. The proposal is to get it down to $30,000 in out-of-pocket expenses – more than half the average U.S. household income. According to the editorial, the drugs are so high that as many as 20% ofoncology patients don’t take their medication as prescribed. I believe it may be better to mandate catastrophic insurance coverage. Under Obamacare, if you are under 30 or obtained a “hardship exemption” you qualify for a high deductible, low premium, catastrophic plan. What about those over 30 who are more in need?
Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. These are the words spoken by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. We could say this is the mantra of greedy CEOs of pharmaceutical companies. In a 2014 survey by Fierce Pharma, a news outlet for the industry, the average pay of the 10 top CEOs of big Pharma was about $30 million. None of the companies were in the Fortune top 100. Celgene was number 369, the highest in the industry. The CEO of Celgene earned $36.61 million. This seems out of line given the relatively small size of most pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.