Monday, March 19, 2012

About high cost of drugs and life sustaining patents for poor.

India has played a major role in providing life saving drugs to aids patients in Africa and other poorer countries.Year supply used to cost (a cocktail"combination" of several drugs). Costs were brought down from two hundred dollars a day to two dollars a day.
Benefit of this has been in at least 100 Million life years .This has been greatest gift by any nation to the mankind.Benefits of this magnitude have been achieved only by vaccines for polio,smallpox and other communicable diseases.
What is the effect of this life saving patents given to generic manufacturers.Cost of patented medicines have not come down in USA.New drugs are being marketed at costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.There seems to be no end to this vicious cycle.
It seems that larger generic manufacturers are being co-opted so new generic drugs do not come to market.Large drug plans are not filling prescriptions with generic medicines in the process reducing income and viability of the generic manufacturers.This is clearly unfair business practice.

BY making and selling  generic drugs one argument of the patent drug manufacturers have been mooted that it costs a lot to manufacture these drugs.For mankind its a victory of sorts that many of us will live a more wholesome life because the invention/discoveries of these drugs.These generic drug manufacturers have made it possible and  large number of us will benefit from these drugs.

NOW the question how much we can afford to pay for medicine  to live healthier and longer.If we had no insurance, how much.We need to think insurance as pooling of risk not shifting of risk.We all get old and get sick.We all have pay for this medicine .None of us can afford to pay unlimited funds as our financial resources are limited by GDP of a nation state or family.

We can not afford to spend more than a years income to take care of our sick.So in USA it is 45000 dollars and in India 1000 dollars .We are going crazy and broke  as in USA we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for chronically ill last year of life decisions.Much of this money is spent for marginal benefits.For Medicare  health care for over 65 we are spending 10000 dollars per year per person.As these people will live on average 12 to 15 years more we will spend 120000 to 150000 dollars for this care.This expense still leaves gaps in health care coverage and us vulnerable.

For medicines to cost same in countries where per capita income per year is 1000 dollars or less is insane and inhumane.India is spending less that 5% on health care in comparison to 15% in USA. With so little a GDP good health care has become a luxury, while basic nutrition and immunization will have much higher return.This regime of making life saving patented drugs for the good of human race will help many more to live longer useful lives.

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