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To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad

All of the world's 10 largest pharmaceutical companies operate globally

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To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad. (Wikimedia Commons)
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US President Donald Trump Presented here on Friday his plan to lower drug prices in the US, a strategy that seeks, among other things, to force other countries to increase their drug prices to bring down costs at home.

“It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all. I have directed US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer to make fixing this injustice a top priority with every trading partner,” Trump said during a speech at the White House Rose Garden, Efe reported.

“We have great power over the trading partners; you’re seeing that already. America will not be cheated any longer, and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries,” the President added.

Trump argued that other countries take advantage of the US pharmaceutical industry and its investments in research and development, claiming that bringing downs costs at home would require increasing prices in foreign countries.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

All of the world’s 10 largest pharmaceutical companies operate globally.

Five of them are based in the United States, two in Switzerland, and one each in France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“When foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from US drug makers, Americans have to pay more to subsidize the enormous cost of research and development,” Trump said.

“In some cases, medicine that costs a few dollars in a foreign country costs hundreds of dollars in America for the same pill, with the same ingredients, in the same package, made in the same plant,” the real estate mogul said.

Also Read: Trump Administration Cancels NASA Plan to Track Greenhouse Gases

Trump considered that this situation was “unacceptable,” claiming that “it’s not going to happen any longer.”

According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, US consumers spent $1,162 per person on pharmaceuticals in 2015, compared to $756 in Canada and $497 in the UK, where the government has established measures to control drug prices. (IANS)

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Drugs That Suppress Immune System May Protect Against Parkinson’s

Immunosuppresive drugs likely to keep Parkinson's at bay

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Study: Experimental Drug can Halt Parkinson's Progression
Study: Experimental Drug can Halt Parkinson's Progression. Pixabay

People who are on drugs to suppress their immune system are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease — a neurological disorder characterised by tremors, slow movements, stiffness and difficulty walking, a new study claimed.

The results, published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, showed that people with several types of autoimmune diseases, including ulcerative colitis were less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s than the general population.

The investigators noted that many autoimmune diseases have one common thing, that is, they are treated with drugs that dampen immune activity.

“We’ve found that taking certain classes of immunosuppressant drugs reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s. One group of drugs in particular looks really promising and warrants further investigation to determine whether it can slow disease progression,” said Brad Racette from Washington University-St. Louis in the US.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The study showed that people taking corticosteroids — used for treating inflammatory diseases — such as prednisone were 20 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s, while those on inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMDH)– an enzyme — inhibitors were about one-third less likely.

While, immunosuppresive drugs may keep Parkinson’s at bay, it may ,however, increase the chances of developing infectious diseases and cancer.

The benefits of these drugs outweigh the costs for people with serious autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis but doctors would probably hesitate to prescribe risky drugs to healthy people to stave off Parkinson’s, especially since there is no reliable way to predict who is on track to develop the disease, the team explained.

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“What we really need is a drug for people who are newly diagnosed, to prevent the disease from worsening. It’s a reasonable assumption that if a drug reduces the risk of getting Parkinson’s, it also will slow disease progression, and we’re exploring that now,” Racette said.

For the study, the team analysed prescription drug data on 48,295 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s and 52,324 people never diagnosed with Parkinson’s and developed an algorithm to predict which people would be diagnosed with the disease. (IANS)