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News article analyze - Essay Example

The problem allegedly stems for the United States’ allowing market prices of pharmaceutical products to be set by competitors within the industry; even including generic drug manufacturers. However, it was revealed that competition among firms in the pharmaceutical industry is actually considered misleading since lifesaving drugs, for example, are noted to be produced by only one manufacturer. Likewise, these pharmaceutical companies have protected their drugs through patents, and stipulate which sprays or inhalers adhere to the standards set by the government. As emphasized, “sprays, creams, patches, gels and combination medicines are more difficult to copy exactly to make a generic that meets Food and Drug Administration standards” (Rosenthal: Patent Plays, 2013, par. 6). Thus, generic drug manufacturers were disclosed to have met more stringent obstacles to the detriment of consumers. The economic principles of competition among firms were the focus of discussion in the article. It was revealed at the onset that the United States allows prices of drugs to be set by competitors, particularly pharmaceutical manufacturers in the industry. This was revealed to be in contrast to other countries where government regulates prices of drugs through setting a national wholesale price for identified drugs. The current system, therefore, obviously protects drug manufacturers by allowing them to dictate market prices; and even precludes entry of generic drug manufacturers to freely play and offer

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their products to consumers who want cheaper drugs. Other strategies used by these drug companies include re-patenting old drugs to jack up prices to current market price levels. Likewise, prices of these drugs apparently latently include research and marketing costs; as well as the cost of prescriptions which were mostly required prior to purchase. As a result, the author noted that consumers who are most affected by the exorbitant costs of drugs resort to other techniques, including limiting the frequency of intake or opting to miss intake whenever possible. One is convinced that unfair competition among firms, that evidently intentionally excludes generic drug manufacturers significantly contribute to the exorbitant costs of drugs in the United States. The fact the big pharmaceutical companies are supported by the federal government and by health care institutions also exacerbate the problem. In other countries, their respective governments have allowed fair competition to rule out large pharmaceutical organizations to dominate the industry. There have been pronounced promotion of using generic drugs as alternatives to the more expensive branded drugs to ensure that people from low income levels could still avail of the much needed medications; rather than resort to the strategies noted above. Only through providing greater opportunities for supply of drugs in the market from both large pharmaceutical companies and generic drug manufacturers would a more competitive pricing mechanism be set that would address the best interests of the consumers; rather than serving the interests of these large pharmaceuticals who aim to dominate the pharmaceutical industry. If the thrust of the government is to serve the wellbeing of the general public, it should actually start to regulate market prices of drugs and allow these generic drug manufacturers to participate and produce competitive products with similar efficacy; yet affordable prices to consumers who need


Economic News Article Analysis Institutional Affiliation Rosenthal, E. (2013, October 12). The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/the-soaring-cost-of-a-simple-breath.html?…
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