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Pills & Bills: The Sky-high price of Prescription Drugs and the Medical Industry’s Role in Providing Basic Healthcare

Healthcare is a basic human right. The Constitution of the World Health Organization states that everyone is entitled to enjoy the highest standard of health possible regardless of race, religion, economic or social condition, or political belief.

However, even ensuring that this fundamental right is provided to the general public is proving to be quite difficult. And the issue lies within the system.

Insurance providers are not being very effective when there are so many rules and restrictions. Despite paying high insurance premiums per month, it sometimes still does not ease the burden because it’s either the prices for medicine are still too high or the insurance will not cover it.

The medical industry itself is not a friend to the masses. Prices are being controlled by the big manufacturers and they do not necessarily consider the consumers more than they care for their benefit so their products are not always easy on the wallet. A study conducted in the US on 36 best-selling medicines had found that 44% had more than doubled in price between 2012 to 2018.

About 44% of the 36 top-selling medicines in the US have doubled their prices between 2012 to 2018

Several solutions may be considered to combat this problem:

Consult Your Doctor for an Alternative

A cheaper, generic option might be available if the price of your prescribed medication is too high.

Get Samples

Pharmaceutical companies often give doctors samples to give to their patients. Ask your doctor if there are samples available for what you need to save on expenses.

Ask your doctor if they have samples or inquire about an alternative for your prescription medicine

Consider Buying from Foreign Countries

Although caution should still be practiced when obtaining medicine from other countries, buying from developed countries, like Canada, might help as prices tend to be cheaper there.

Lobby

Maybe the most relevant solution is to lobby congress. For there to be real systemic change, effective laws to prevent abuse and monopolization of pharmaceutical companies should be in place.

Laws against monopolization should be lobbied in congress

In this modern age of continued development and innovation, new solutions to people’s problems are being created every day. But somehow, this issue persists. And the answer is simple: we need to see the bigger picture and ask bigger questions.

How will people be able to afford basic health care when the market itself does not allow for easy access? How can a basic human right become so exclusive? How do we expect to develop as a society if even in this aspect, there is still marginalization and discrimination? Why aren’t laws on healthcare more effective?

People need to be aware of and work together to make sure that everyone can enjoy the same rights. It’s not band-aid solutions that will fix the system, it might to a certain extent, but it is through real change that there truly would be a difference. That surely does not come easy. But with enough hard work and cooperation, it is possible.

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