Tags: AstraZeneca | drug | US | Nexium

European Countries Freeloading Off of US Pharmacy Patients

By    |   Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 08:04 AM

To generate outrage, all an advocate of a single-payer healthcare system needs to do is complain about drug prices. One recent example used the heartburn drug Nexium. In the United States, patients pay $213 for the drug. That same prescription costs $58 in Spain, $42 in Great Britain and just $23 in the Netherlands.

The standard interpretation of the numbers is that the United States is overpaying for drugs because we don't have a single government agency negotiating prices for the entire country. The standard answer is to empower a small group of civil servants in Washington to match wits with teams of lawyers negotiating on behalf of big drug companies.

A more reasonable interpretation of the data is that the European countries are paying too little and forcing patients in the United States to fund 100 percent of the drug companies' research and development costs.

AstraZeneca, the maker of Nexium, reported $25.7 billion in sales in 2013. Of that amount, $6.2 billion came from U.S. sales of Nexium. AstraZeneca spent $4.3 billion on research and development last year, trying to find new ways to help patients around the world.

If Nexium cost as much in the United States as it did in the Netherlands, AstraZeneca's revenue would have been reduced by $5.5 billion and the company would not have been able to fund research at all if management wanted to be profitable. Reducing the price of Nexium to the level paid in Spain would reduce research spending more than 70 percent.

Drug prices are high because someone has to pay for research, which includes testing for safety. Since Europe and Canada, another oft-cited example of a nation where drugs cost less, refuse to pay their fair share, Americans are forced to overpay.

If we want a better future, we in the United States can either continue paying all of the costs for research and development or ask our allies in developed economies to pay their fair share.

© 2017 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
MichaelCarr
To generate outrage, all an advocate of a single-payer healthcare system needs to do is complain about drug prices. One recent example used the heartburn drug Nexium. In the United States, patients pay $213 for the drug. That same prescription costs $58 in Spain.
AstraZeneca, drug, US, Nexium
328
2014-04-23
Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 08:04 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved