US Pharmaceuticals & Canadian Drugs

It seems to me (and this is one of those talking-out-my-ass, no-knowledge-beyond-what-the-papers-say kind of thoughts) that if the US Pharmaceutical companies can sell drugs to Canada at prices that make them profitable to sell in Canada, and Americans can then purchase those same drugs at far less cost than they could in the states, the Americans’ complaints should be to the pharmaceuticals that jack up their prices in the states, not with Canadian pharmacists shipping these drugs back south over the border, or Canada’s price controls.

It’s true, we have government regulations limiting the price of drugs. But that’s a good thing. It would seem the logical thing would be to plead for the same thing in the states. But for some reason, American politicians are always much more willing to fight on behalf of their corporate constituents, rather than their human constituents.

Of coure, there’s a blurry line between a human and a corporate consituent in this day and age of stock portfolios. If you own stock in Eli Lilly, this complaint to Canada makes sense: less profit = lower stock price. But if you’re sick, lower drug prices = better life. So there’s a conflict there. And in America, these days, it seems to me that the value of your stock portfolio generally rates higher than quality of your life. And the idea of doing something to benefit everyone, at a small cost to yourself, seems completely alien.

(It should be noted that I’m painting with very broad strokes here. But contemporary American politics would indicate that the vast majority of Americans do think that what’s good for the Corporation is good for the Country. And I’m not saying that there must be a vs. situation here — I firmly believe in the existence and power of socially responsible corporations. I just don’t see much evidence of them in day-to-day American politics.)