Though many Americans rely on prescription drugs in order to stay healthy and, in some cases, to survive it can sometimes seem like drugs are sold at unfair prices. Humira is one of the most popular prescription drugs not only in America but around the world. Medical science is quickly coming to grips with the fact that inflammation is the root cause of many if not all diseases and Humira reduces inflammation in the body.
This new drug is made from biological material rather than synthetic chemicals, which can help to explain its high cost, but many believe the price of Humira has been artificially raised due to demand. If Humira’s parent company AbbVie was indeed jacking prices for Humira, this wouldn’t be the first time a pharmaceutical company betrayed their customers in this way.
A History of Unfair Drug Prices
Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli drew attention to the epidemic of overpriced pharmaceutical drugs when his company acquired an AIDS-fighting drug called Daraprim and raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill without any warning. It isn’t clear whether Shkreli was purposefully trying to point out corruption within the pharmaceutical industry or whether he was simply trying to gouge his customers.
However, when it was announced that Shkreli had bought a unique Wu-Tang Clan album for 2 million dollars as a perverse type of publicity stunt, many started viewing him as a friendly trickster. The same can’t be said for the manufacturers of EpiPens, which are used to treat severe allergic reactions that can sometimes be life-threatening and which have consistently raised in price over the last few years.
Big Pharma Hypocrisy
Even though pharmaceutical companies know that their customers are dependent on their drugs in order to stay healthy, prices continue to rise. A year’s supply of Humira used to cost $19,000 in 2012 and now costs $38,000. Without insurance, hardly anyone in the United States would be able to pay this cost. In the end, however, anyone with a medical insurance plan ends up absorbing part of these unfair costs even if they don’t use the drug. For companies like AbbVie that claim to put their customers first, selling Humira at an artificially raised price would be nothing short of hypocrisy.
A Broken Market
In a free market system, unfair prices are regulated by competition. If a company is charging too much for a product, another company will come along and charge less for the same product, pushing the unethical company out of the industry. Yet, for some reason, this isn’t happening in the case of Humira and other overpriced drugs. This seems to indicate that something is fundamentally wrong with the pharmaceutical drug market. Prices remain high despite competition, which is a sure sign that drug companies aren’t playing fairly when it comes to offering their goods to the public.
The Path Forward
While there’s always hope that the pharmaceutical industry will start charging fair prices for its products again, for many it is already too late. Users of Humira report skipping doses more and more frequently and many have stopped using the drug altogether. If you feel that you have been wronged by artificially inflated drug prices, don’t delay in contacting a skilled drug law attorney. It’s possible to be compensated for issues related to unfairly elevated pharmaceutical costs. If you stand up for yourself and demand that you be fairly treated, you can serve as an example for other sufferers and remind the pharmaceutical industry that they are not above the law.
Learn more about Drug Safety News.