Profit and prescription drugs | What's Left

In the Canadian system, the private sector controls all aspects of prescription medication with profit for shareholders driving the industry. As such, it is not surprising when companies exploit their monopoly for huge profits. Recent events show just how ridiculous this system is.

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In the past week, the price for the drug used to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, Cycloserine, was hiked 2,000 per cent overnight. Then a Pharma CEO and former hedge fund manager defend his 5,000 per cent price hike for an anti-parasitic drug Diaparam. And finally, Alexion Pharmaceuticals has filed a motion in Federal Court arguing that Canada’s drug price watchdog has no authority to force the company to lower its price for the drug Soliris.

In New Zealand, a country not known for its left wing ideology, prices of medication has increased by only three per cent per year compared to ten per cent worldwide. And, individuals in New Zealand pay a maximum of 100\$ nz a year no matter what the costs of their drugs.

In Canada, because of limited cooperation among provinces and no effort by current and previous federal governments to tackle the issue, pharmaceutical costs are amongst the highest in the world. Pharmaceutical companies seem to be under the impression that in Canada, people will pay whatever the cost. The result is that the private pharmaceutical industry has been one of the most successful parts of the corporate campaign to privatize and profit from the public health care system.

More: Tuberculosis drug price jumps 2,000%, shocks doctors

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