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Drug Dilemmas - Essay Example

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1. What explains the high price of prescription medicines in the United States What if anything should be done about it Do you believe that U.S. drug prices reflect the operation of a fair and competitive market
The high price of prescription medicines in the United States may be explained by the marketing and administration costs of pharmaceutical companies, aside from the cost of drug research and development of new medicines…
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Drug Dilemmas
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Download file to see previous pages Unfortunately, in a free market economy such as the United States, nothing can be done about it, except by government intervention through price regulation. Considering what Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, said about how pharmaceutical companies spend enormous resources in developing "me-too" drugs simply to get a share of the market of a top-selling drug, there is reason to believe that U.S. drug prices do not reflect the operation of a fair and competitive market, rather, the pharmaceutical companies have somewhat cartelized themselves resulting in a monopoly of the drug pricing.
2. Given the nature of their product, do pharmaceutical companies have ethical responsibilities that other corporations don't have In your view, are the large U.S. drug companies good corporate citizens
According to the Case Resource, many drug companies enjoy larger profit margins than other U.S. corporations. At the very least, and considering the nature of their product, this writer believes that pharmaceutical companies should take on the ethical responsibility of reasonably pricing their products, at least at the level of most corporations. It would be more ethical of course, for pharmaceutical companies to reduce their profit margins in order to make their drugs more available to a greater number of people. After all, the mission and vision of most drug companies is to "lead the way to a healthier world by providing products that improve lives" (Wyeth, 2008), or "we are here for the people we serve in their pursuit of healthy lives" (Abbott, 2008). However, in terms of corporate citizenship, drug companies would be thought of as good corporate citizens especially if they pay the government the correct taxes from all the revenues and profits they make.
3. Are the large drug companies guilty of price gouging or charging an unfair or exploitative price for their products In general, what factors should determine the price of drugs Should Americans be permitted to import drugs from Canada or other countries
Whether or not large drug companies are guilty of price gouging or charging an unfair or exploitative price for their products is highly debatable. On the one hand, if the drug company sets its price at a profit level well beyond regular profitability standards for U.S. corporations, then the company would be guilty of price gouging. However, to determine such profit level, various factors would need to be taken into account and some of these factors may not be existent in other corporations, such as costs of compliance with government regulations considering that such regulations may be stricter in the health industry than in other industries. In general, factors that determine the price of drugs would be production costs, distribution costs, marketing costs, administration costs and other overhead costs such as R&D. This writer believes that Americans should be permitted to import drugs from Canada or other countries for that matter. If the cost of imported drugs is less expensive than U.S.-manufactured drugs, this would be very beneficial to Americans. Moreover, it would provide a natural check and balance for the pricing practices of the U.S. drug companies.
4. Do drug companies have an obligation to make new drugs available to patients who were involved in their development, either here or overseas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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