In the United States, drug prices are still too high, the public is not educated enough about the risks and the costs, and the medical system is still failing.
As a result, drug companies continue to aggressively lobby politicians, lobbyists, and doctors to keep prices high and profits high.
But this is a massive failure of public health.
When we don’t have a robust public health system, when we have the stigma of having to buy the drug that we’re supposed to and to use, then the drug companies can do whatever they want.
In many cases, it’s all about profits.
And it’s not just drugs.
The pharmaceutical industry also spends hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for the expansion of Medicare, Medicaid, and other public health programs.
This has created a vicious cycle that has not just made life miserable for the patients who need the drugs, but for the people who are supposed to pay for them.
As the authors of the recent “War on Drug” study put it, “the costs of treating the ill outweigh the benefits of preventing the disease.
This is the classic ‘no win, no lose’ situation.
The War on Drugs has failed us.
We have not addressed the underlying causes of this crisis.”
This is why we are calling on the President and Congress to: 1.
Ensure that all drugs are manufactured with appropriate safety standards, that they are tested for side effects and safety, that quality controls are in place, and that the drugs are properly marketed to ensure that they do not harm the public or the health system.
Require drug companies to stop marketing harmful drugs that are already available.
Requirm that drug companies disclose any potential conflicts of interest and take any necessary actions to address them.
This requires an urgent change in the way the U.S. government buys, sells, and uses drugs, and it demands the commitment of both the private sector and government to change.
In our country, the War on Drug is a colossal failure that will only continue to erode the safety of our healthcare system.
If we don.t change our drug policies, it will be just as difficult for us to improve public health today and in the future.
This article originally appeared on PBS NewsHour.
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