28 Aug Real Talk | Pharma Companies
Doc talks discusses pharmaceutical companies and prescription medications.
Research and development, where are they putting their resources? Well, they’re dumping a lot of resources into diabetes today, as we talked about with Wagovi and all these glucomy-like peptide inhibitors, and we’re developing insulin, and we’re increasing the price of insulin, and we keep doing all this. Why are they doing this? It’s because the nation’s becoming more unhealthy. And what are we doing about it? No, not a whole lot there. We’re coming up with some new high blood pressure medications. And you know what’s interesting? When I was a young guy 40 years ago, going through residency, becoming on my journey to a doctor, we had this book called the physician’s desk reference, and that listed pretty much every drug that was available to that we could use. And it was about that thick. This same book right now is probably about that thick. And what I’ve noticed in there, there’s about, oh, probably three, four thousand drugs to treat high blood pressure. Isn’t that remarkable? Three to four thousand drugs to treat blood pressure. I can’t think of an instance I would need more than five generics that cost roughly $12 a year to treat any blood pressure problem I run across. But you know why they have all these blood pressure medicines in there? It’s because you’re going to be on them, and now you’re going to be on them every day for the rest of your life. When they start you down the path of glucose because you’re a diabetic, if you don’t change your ways, you’re going to be a diabetic every day and need to take medicine for the rest of your life. And when your knees give out because you’re overweight, well, we got medicines for that, but those medicines cause us to burn a hole in your stomach, so we have to take another medicine for the hole being burnt in your stomach to make sure that doesn’t happen every day for the rest of your life. Well, now you’re so depressed because you’re taking all these medicines that cost so much money to take care of your high blood pressure, your diabetes, your knees giving out, and your stomach is aching you away. Well, I got an antidepressant for that, you can take that every day for the rest of your life. This is how this thing goes, and it’s just discouraging, and it’s just almost, you just want to give up, and it’s like, why? But there is an alternative. You can get this weight off and get off these medicines and question your doctors, why am I on this? Do I actually need this? Is there a cheaper alternative? Because there is. There’s incredibly inexpensive medicines out there that work incredibly well, and they are generics, and they do have to work with a certain percentage of the name brand. They are researched off name brands. The companies that make the name brands have to give their medication to the generic manufacturers to make sure that they have an equal response and an equal dose of the type of medication they’re trying to make a generic out of. It is the law. This is where pharmaceutical companies get a little bit crazy to where what they’ll do is they’ll restrict it. In other words, they’ll make a closed market. It happened with, though, what is that? That guy that tried to take Daraprim, which is an anti-malarial drug, and he closed the loop on it to where it was only available through Walgreens, and it wasn’t available to anybody else. And he took the price of it from, what did he raise it from? One pill, which was like $13, and he raised it to 750 bucks. And this guy went to jail. I think he’s out now, but he’s got some kind of crazy name, and he was fined $60 million. Personally, I think this guy ought to be locked up for the rest of his life is what I think he ought to did. He took a generic drug, rose the price from $13 to 750 bucks a pill. And what’s interesting about it is if you look at this medication, it costs right at about two cents a pill to make it. But this guy just did it, and he has no soul, and he just did it to make all the money he could. And that’s what his MO was. But this is what these manufacturers do. They try to figure out ways to keep their drugs in patent. They’ll put more patents on as the patents are running out so they can extend the life of patent and keep any kind of generics from ever being made so they can keep making their money. I mean, they’re just not doing a service to the people of this country that, well, their taxpayer dollars help invent these drugs that we’re never going to get any money back from it. We’re not going to get any kind of satisfaction from them either. It’s just something that has to change. But Canada, that’s interesting because the drugs in Canada are cheaper than they are here. I wonder why our state senators and representatives don’t allow us to buy drugs from Canada. Could it be that the pharmaceutical lobby is up there lobbying them, stopping them from doing this? I mean, wouldn’t it be great to see a Canadian pharmacy on the corner that has all of our medications that we can get dirt cheap? Oh my God, that would put Walgreens and CVS and Walmart out of business. We’d all be losing a bunch of tears over that one, wouldn’t we? We’d be saving all kinds of money going through a Canadian pharmacy. But I just don’t see that happening in my lifetime. But there is alternatives that we can do. I wish there was more generic drug manufacturers out there, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And it’s a kind of an easy plan. I think Walmart could actually probably, with their billions of dollars, go out and buy a generic manufacturer. And why don’t you start with one drug? Just start making them, I don’t know, an ACE inhibitor, a drug for dyslipidemia. Oh my God, make a weight loss drug. That would be great, too. And I think Sam would be kind of proud of you if you did that. But, nah, too many stockholders, too many people want to make money. So this, I don’t think that’s ever going to fly. That’s just the world we live in. It’s kind of cynical and kind of twisted, but oh well.