18 Million Americans Couldn't Afford Their Prescriptions Last Year

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Published on 18 Sep 2021, 19:00
A new survey of American adults found that at least 18 million Americans said they couldn't afford one of their prescription drugs this year, with million unable to afford multiple prescriptions every month. 81% of those surveyed said that they want the federal government to play a larger role in negotiating with companies to get these prices down, but right now that isn't happening in the United States, leaving us to pay some of the largest markups for prescriptions on the planet. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins discusses the new survey and what it is telling us needs to be done.

Link - commondreams.org/news/2021/09/...

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

According to new surveys actually put together by four different polling companies and cobbled all together into one single report, 18 million Americans so far this year have been unable to pay for at least one drug that was prescribed to them by a doctor. 18 million people in this country were told by a doctor, you need to take this medicine and then they go to the pharmacy, pharmacist says it's going to cost X amount of money, and the person says, all right, I can't do it. 18 million, 15 and a half of those were people under the age of 65, 2.3 million were over the age of 65. So even the people on Medicare, even the people with the Medicare supplemental insurance, still every now and then in this country, this year unable to pay for their prescriptions. This, this system is designed to kill people. Like, there's, there's no other way to describe it. The United States healthcare system is designed to kill people who cannot pay their bills. And what are we supposed to do with this information?

We're just supposed to accept it? Or are we going to use this information to demand a Medicare For All, single payer, universal healthcare, whatever the hell you want to call it system here in the United States, because that is what we have to do. Up to the point where we finally get universal healthcare, we have to continue to fight for it because people are dying. Their conditions are worsening because they cannot afford their medication. And this will continue. This is how the system is designed. And even with the reconciliation bill that would allow for the federal government to negotiate prices for people on Medicare, but also lower the age of Medicare eligibility, but you're still going to be looking at 15 million people who can't pay for their drugs. Yeah. You're going to knock a couple million off who now won't have to worry about that as much, but 15 million people is still too many. 10 million is, 1 million is, one is too many, but we're always going to have that.

We're always going to have these people who cannot afford their medications, who cannot afford to go to the doctor. Can't afford to go to the emergency room because of our for profit healthcare system. And one thing we have to point out when it comes to the issue of prescription drug costs, we've paid for most of those drugs already, folks. We pay for it through our tax dollars, the national Institute of health that gives grants to these laboratories, to colleges who develop a lot of these drugs. Then the big pharmaceutical companies come in, buy up the research, finish it off, patent it, and then sell it back to us again, even though our tax dollars already paid to develop it. And once again, for the record, the costs we're paying for prescription drugs, we're not actually paying for the development of that drug. We're not reimbursing the costs that the company had when it comes to developing the drug. We're having to recoup their advertising costs. Drug prices in the United States skyrocketed and stayed high and continue to climb once we allowed direct to consumer advertising here in the United States.

It's that simple. Hell, at times they've even admitted it.