Saturday November 17, 2018
Home Lead Story To Lower Drug...

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

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

0
//
Donald Trump
Trump open to meeting Kim again. (Wikimedia Commons)
Republish
Reprint

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)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Thousands of Africans Fatally Affected Due To Fake Drugs

In Ivory Coast, many cannot afford to shop in pharmacies.

0
Drugs, Africa
A street vendor sells illegal and false drugs in a street of Adjame in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. VOA

When Moustapha Dieng came down with stomach pains one day last month he did the sensible thing and went to a doctor in his hometown of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, Africa.

The doctor prescribed a malaria treatment but the medicine cost too much for Dieng, a 30-year-old tailor, so he went to an unlicensed street vendor for pills on the cheap.

“It was too expensive at the pharmacy. I was forced to buy street drugs as they are less expensive,” he said. Within days he was hospitalized — sickened by the very drugs that were supposed to cure him.

Africa
Able Ekissi, an inspector at the health ministry, told Reuters the seized goods. Pixabay

Tens of thousands of people in Africa die each year because of fake and counterfeit medication, an E.U.-funded report released on Tuesday said. The drugs are mainly made in China but also in India, Paraguay, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

Almost half the fake and low-quality medicines reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) between 2013 and 2017 were found to be in sub-Saharan Africa, said the report, also backed by Interpol and the Institute for Security Studies.

“Counterfeiters prey on poorer countries more than their richer counterparts, with up to 30 times greater penetration of fakes in the supply chain,” said the report.

Substandard or fake anti-malarials cause the deaths of between 64,000 and 158,000 people per year in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.

Africa
Opiates have some of the most cases of addiction due to their accessibility and intense ‘high’ – mostly beginning from something as simple as painkillers.

The counterfeit drug market is worth around $200 billion worldwide annually, WHO says, making it the most lucrative trade of illegally copied goods. Its impact has been devastating.

Nigeria said more than 80 children were killed in 2009 by a teething syrup tainted with a chemical normally used in engine coolant and blamed for causing kidney failure.

For Dieng, the cost can be measured in more than simple suffering. The night in hospital cost him more than double what he would have paid had he bought the drugs the doctor ordered.

“After taking those drugs, the provenance of which we don’t know, he came back with new symptoms … All this had aggravated his condition,” said nurse Jules Raesse, who treated Dieng when he stayed at the clinic last month.

Fake drugs also threaten a thriving pharmaceutical sector in several African countries.

Africa
Misuse of antibiotic drugs have lead to the threat of antimicrobial resistance, Pixabay

That has helped prompt Ivory Coast – where fake drugs were also sold openly – to crack down on the trade, estimated at $30 billion by Reuters last year.

Ivorian authorities said last month they had seized almost 400 tonnes of fake medicine over the past two years.

Able Ekissi, an inspector at the health ministry, told Reuters the seized goods, had they been sold to consumers, would have represented a loss to the legitimate pharmaceutical industry of more than $170 million.

“They are reputed to be cheaper, but at best they are ineffective and at worst toxic,” Abderrahmane Chakibi, Managing Director of French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi’s sub-Saharan Africa branch.

Also Read: Trump Presents Proposal To Lower the Price of Specific Drugs

But in Ivory Coast, many cannot afford to shop in pharmacies, which often only stock expensive drugs imported from France, rather than cheaper generics from places like India.

“When you have no means you are forced to go out onto the street,” said Barakissa Cherik, a pharmacist in Ivory Coast’s lagoon-side commercial capital Abidjan. (VOA)