> Yes, and I see the drug companies, with the US FDA in their pocket, are
> now not so subtly threatening Canda to stop the flow of cheap drugs or
> else a big price jump or curtailed supply. Some companies have already
> just raised prices the maximum allowed by Canadian law, a none too
> subtle hint. I hope the new emperor to be up there ;>) has the guts to
> call them on this.
In New Zealand, there is a drug-buying agency of Government called
Pharmac. I'm not sure exactly how it works, except that it does bulk buying
of many drugs for the whole nation, which means lower prices for people who
are sick. So that if I go to the doctor and he prescribes drug "X" which
Pharmac have brought into the country, I will pay maybe $7 for the
chemicals I need to treat my illness; whereas if he prescnbes drug "Y" which
Pharmac has not bulk-purchased, I may pay $50.
All the country's Chemists shops (Pharmacies) are hooked up by computer
to Pharmac so abuse of drug dispensing is very rare. Pharmac knows where
drugs are going and who is using them. (Quite important as manufacturers of
the illicit drug Ecstasy (=P) get kids to try and buy lots of Pseudoephredine
and the like for the drug labs).
A couple of nights ago I woke at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep, so
turned on the National News radio program, just in time to hear this little
snippet about USA drug manufacturer coercion.
Pharmac had just negotiated with a manufacturer of a generic heart drug, to
buy a certain size capsule "AA". This would have been at a cheaper rate
than the label manufacturer. Some NZ heart patients (about 25,000) need
this drug in a capsule size "A" half that of the generic capsule of which the
bulk purchase was just negotiated, and this smaller size is not available from
the generic manufacturer, only from the "label" manufacturer.
The "label" manufacturer announced that considering that Pharmac had
decided to purchase size AA from the generic manufacturer, the small size
"A" would no longer be available for purchase by Pharmac New Zealand.
Leaving Pharmac and 25,000 heart patients in something of a quandary.
Just for the moment, is my guess. Pharmac are not resourceless, and I hope
will treat this blackmail with the contempt it deserves.
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