Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Canucks leading the way!
  [vote for,

It has become very popular for Americans purchasing prescription drugs to buy these drugs through Canadian pharmacies. Nearly 1 million Americans do so. There can be savings of 50% or more. The reason is that the Canadian government negotiated lower prices with drug companies, and passes on these savings through pharmacies. Of course the drug companies make all sorts of protests about the Americans benefiting from this, but the bottom line is that consumers in the US get screwed because health care is fragmented, and there is no single pharmaceutical purchaser with the size and clout of Canada. In the US, drug coverage is provided by multiple small insurers, and poor people are covered by state run programs.

Medi-Cal is the state program covering pharmaceuticals for poor people. The population of California is almost the same as Canada, but probably only 20% are covered by Medi-cal. Medi-cal already negotiates lower prices for drugs. If Medi-Cal were to join with 2 or 3 other large states it would have a purchasing power comparable to the canadian government. I propose that Medi-Cal open retail pharmacies and pass along the savings the state negotiated. An additional tax could be added for out of state/ non-Medi-cal recipients to replete the empty tax coffers of California.

The drug companies could not protest about unsafe foreign drugs because all would be processed according to US law. It would be the beginning of the end for pharmaceutical profiteering. And also a nice big notch on the shotgun of the Governator.

bungston, Dec 19 2003

(?) Proposition 79 http://www.votergui...rgs_rebuttals.shtml
I was pleased to see that my idea will hopefully soon be baked. I am glad someone was paying attention. My sources tell me that proposition 131, "Fake Rubber Ass", may be next on the list. [bungston, Oct 26 2005]


       Who says Ritalin isn't recreational? Or Valium or Xanax or Oxycontin...and don't forget Viagra.
phoenix, Dec 19 2003

       One problem with this idea is that the current high prices of the US market are due to the repayment of the enormous R&D costs associated with bringing new drugs to market. Canada can get low prices because those costs are borne by the US market. If the US market were to drive down prices, it would either eliminate the R&D portion of drug companies (meaning no new drugs) or force most of these companies out of business (meaning no new drugs).
GenYus, Dec 19 2003

       The purpose of government is to provide those things which the individual cannot. Things like, protection from invading foreign armies and... well, that's about it.   

       While you are correct in your estimation of the affect of a large volume buyer on price, providing cheap drugs is outside the scope of governmental responsibility and therefore pulls a fishbone from me.
ato_de, Dec 22 2003

       Governments already provide drugs for many people. Many cities are self-insured, and states run prescription plans for the poor. This would make money _for the states_ in two ways: cheaper drugs for the patients they already supply, as well as profits from the pharmacy supplying others. Cheaper drugs for individuals without insurance is a beneficial side effect.
bungston, Dec 22 2003

       I don't know why we as citizens allow this highway robbery. Did you know PHARMA has the largest staff of lobbyists of any single special interest group?   

       If *everyone* shared in the cost of R&D, the costs wouldn't be substantially higher than they are now, and American seniors might be able to afford their medication again. Forget state buying power, I'm all for Federal purchasing power here, as it could be argued that the health of its citizens is of strategic national importance to America, especially considering both our current state of health and the cost of health care.   

       // outside the scope of governmental responsibility //   

       The role of government must be flexible enough to deal with the times the needs of the people of its day. If the people decide that their government should step up to the plate, then they should step up to the plate. I'll not allow 17'th century definitions to hinder 21'st century issues and needs in the face of a crisis. Furthermore, if the government has no responsibility or involvement in the drug industry, then what're all the lobbyists for?
RayfordSteele, Dec 23 2003

       yay! free drugs for everybody!   

       Is this the true legacy of centralized government?
ato_de, Dec 23 2003

       Isn't it the US government complaining about unsafe foreign drugs. They're the ones that stand to loose any tax dollars by americans buying elsewhere. granted drug companies likely have a higher profit margin for sales in the states, and if they were complaining it would be about their drugs, canada and usa get the same stuff. The canadian health standerds are equal if not higher then american standerds for drugs(Thats only my impression though).
i-Mer, Oct 28 2005


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