The Black Market Buyers club: Pharmaceutical price hikes.
Black market websites could soon become the last resort to obtain life saving pharmaceutical drugs for those without health insurance as those who are in need of the medical help are being abused by large pharmaceutical companies in order for them to produce profit.
In today’s world many different businesses have become obsessed with profiting and pleasing the shareholders of their companies with healthy returns on investment. But when profit is prioritised over the main objective of one’s company it loses sight of what the company was there to achieve in the first place, and once corrupted with the enticement of money all morals and virtues are thrown out the window.
With this moral outrage of profit exceeding the needs for others the age old question of “would you steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family” comes into light. Essentially would you commit a crime to save the life of a loved one or prevent them from suffering.
In this piece we will discuss the large issue of pharmaceutical companies unfairly increasing prices of life saving drugs making them unaffordable for those who need them. And the lengths one can go to to obtain these cheaply made drugs for the price they are made instead of taking the expensive and traditional path of getting the much needed drugs through the health care system where 15% of all americans are living without health insurance, that’s 48 million americans living without insurance.
The Black Market and web services such as the TOR browser (a dark net internet browser) have been a means of the 21st century to being able to get illegal recreational drugs to the everyday citizen. Even though site such as silk road have been compromised there is still a large number of ways to get illegal drugs.
Silk road provided the internet service to all persons to have illegal drugs sent to their front door via mail where they could receive almost any drug they desired through a large catalogue of providers (nice term for drug dealers).
These sites were used to obtain illegal recreational drugs and it worked. But who is to say one cannot acquire the life saving medical drugs that are needed through this process, when people are being deprived of legal life saving medication from the health care system that is lacking in the care of health where else are the ill meant to turn. Instead of being helped by the health care system the ill are being drained of every cent they own to receive the medical attention they need.
Case and point Turing Pharmaceuticals last month bought the exclusive rights to the drug Daraprim that aids in the preventing of parasite Taxoplasma that attacks people with weak immune systems mainly used by people whilst undergoing chemotherapy, people diagnosed with AIDS and used by women during pregnancy. The drug mainly aiding in the fight against the food based parasite that may infect up to 60 million U.S citizens according to the CDC.
In purchasing the exclusive rights to the 67 year old drug manufactured in 1953, previously priced at $13.50 per pill, for no apparent reason Turing increased the price of Daraprim by 5000% to $750 per pill in an immoral attempt to profit off those desperate and in need of the life saving medication.
As there is no generic alternative for the drug and is classed as a speciality drug no other companies have produced this alternative as it was not cost effective essentially monopolising the market for the demand of Daraprim (pyrimethamine).
A strong argument that is for the price increase is that health insurance companies will be the ones to foot most of the bill and receive hefty discounts on the drug. but this will see patients costs increase even with health insurance to $150 per pill (as a common practice of health companies is to pay %20 of the medical bill) to be able to use the drug to relieve symptoms. Becoming largely unaffordable to even those with health insurance as the course taken for the drug is one pill per day for 4–6 weeks totalling more than $100,000 per year for those suffering.
Even more so in argument against sufferers are looking at alternatives such as travelling to India where the manufacturing of the drug costs as little as 2.2 cents per pill to make. Where also sufferers could turn to such extremes as using the dark net sites such as Silk Road to obtain the drug. Sometimes not breaking the law is immoral in itself.
With a suffering person having to fork out more than they earn per year to stay alive there is a viable option for one to break the law. why would someone go through a system that is wronging them entirely to receive the drug for $100,000 a year when they could easily (with a bit of research and risk involved) buy the drug from India for a fraction of the cost the health care system is offering to stay alive.
This is a gross breach of trust in the medical system and even with public distaste and poor press the price is still not coming down as though Turing is waiting for this whole story to blow over. Continuing to exploit the sick and blatantly disregarding their obligation to help those in need and begs the question how this company can deny the life saving drug to their fellow man. Simply wrong and a disgusting way of making an easy dollar.
In taking the risk it can be well justified that, if in dire need of medical attention, one can break the law to serve a greater cause of saving your own or the life of other in a “Dallas Buyers Club” like fashion where the means justifies the end.