Is Big Pharma a Result of Patent Exclusivity?

On Tuesday, Hilary Clinton announced her proposal to cap out-of-pocket drug expenses at $250 a month. One of the major reasons Americans are unable to receive adequate health care is because the cost of pharmaceuticals has skyrocketed. Even with insurance coverage, many Americans have trouble being able to shell out the money for costly drugs. Pharmaceutical companies are, often times, able to charge exorbitantly high prices because they own exclusive rights over a specific manufacturing process or drug formula. In order to cut costs, should the patent duration of pharmaceuticals be shortened? Will this, in turn, cause issues with incentives for going into pharmaceutical research?

Increased Representation for Big Pharma

The health care system in the United States is under collapse. Despite being one of the wealthiest and most industrialized nations in the world, we have not yet found a way to secure health care for our citizens. One of the major failures of our health care system is the fact that relatively few people can afford it. Insurance, with all of its deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, has become almost a luxury commodity—one that few can afford.

As Americans empty out their pockets and declare bankruptcy, they begin to ask themselves why health care is so expensive. To answer this question, they have turned to pharmaceutical companies. Many believe that pharmaceutical companies charge exorbitantly high prices for drugs, and that leads to the financial burden many Americans are forced to shoulder. To be able to defend themselves against the harsh criticism they are receiving, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group has recently picked up a new lobbyist, Stephen Ubl, who will be the new face defending Big Pharma.

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