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Pharma Profits

Pharmaceutical company profits really are a zero-sum game. Either we control medical costs and that means less pharma profits, or the public continues to get ever more screwed. And we know that no matter how high pharma profits go, and how many hundreds of millions pharma CEOs make, they will continue to try to screw the whole of society even more than they already are because… capitalism. (They are literally taught that failing to extract every bit of profit they possibly could is immoral–the “fiduciary responsibility” myth–which conveniently aligns with their personal self interest, since they are paid a percentage of profit).

Meanwhile, you keep hearing ,”bringing medicines to market is expensive…” But the secret is in the last decade stock prices have become more important, and so total pharma spending on R&D has been plummeting even as drug prices have doubled and in some cases doubled again. It is pure profit taking at this point. What was true in the 1980s – that high drug prices are necessary to fund R&D – isn’t necessarily going to be true forever. At this point it is just a smokescreen for price gouging.

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