I have written the past 2 days about the high cost of Advair and what an asthmatic might do instead of choosing to not take this medicine at all. One of the ideas that was sent to me was this:
We could make it so pharmaceutical companies no longer make so much money at the expense of people who are sick. It's ridiculous that they make so much money anyway.
Another common question is this:
Why doesn't Obama put a cap on how much prescriptions can cost?
I had a reader email me the following, and I think it will make a fine answer to the above questions:
It is the capitalistic system that developed Advair--and other useful drugs. The drug companies have huge development costs, and huge costs getting through the FDA, and if the drug company can't recoup its expenses, and make a profit for its shareholders, there is no point in the company's ever developing a new drug. We won't ever get any new ones. You don't work for free; me neither. Neither do the shareholders, or the employees, of the companies that develop new drugs.
I agree with this answer completely. What makes America such a great country, and why our economy is the best in the world (despite the recession), is because of capitalism. And the key to making capitalism work is the risk/reward factor.
In the case of Advair, a pharmaceutical company sacrificed millions of dollars and many years of research developing a medicine that they had no idea of whether it would even be approved by the FDA for use.
If it were not for the reward factor (making a profit), there would be less risk taking. And, if there is less risk taking by pharmaceutical companies, that would be fewer new asthma meds, and less hope for even better meds for the future.