The Post (Ohio) – University Wire
ATHENS, OH — A bill agreed upon by House and Senate Republicans would allow Americans to bring back prescription drugs from Canada, where medicine is sometimes 30 to 80 percent cheaper than in the states.
The bill would permit only 90-day supplies and still prohibit mail order and online purchases of prescription drugs, though a Louisiana senator said, “This really breaks the dam,” in a story by The Associated Press.
Republicans are doing what doctors everywhere know not to: Treating the symptoms and not the problem. It’s nice that people who are economically able to travel to Canada can buy three month’s worth of prescriptions — which is a small demographic itself — at radically cheaper prices, but it fails to address the real issue.
The reality is that the American drug industry, a massive business that rakes in billions every year, profits by maintaining high prices. Some corporations attribute the cost to research and development, though a report by The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights indicates these companies spend between three and five times their budget for R and D on marketing and advertising.
The continually rising costs for these drugs will not be fixed by allowing a small percentage of mobile Americans to import them; it will only perpetuate an existing problem, especially for the large number of Americans without health insurance.
Prices are so much lower up north because the Canadian government’s universal health care allows them to enforce pricing limits. Socialism is not the answer to America’s health care deficiencies, but a more responsible and accountable system of pricing regulation is. Americans should be able to drive down the
street for reasonably priced prescription drugs, not across the border.