Obama Care Will End Drug Advances and Europe's Free Ride (Unless China Steps in) - Forbes snippet: Ninety five percent of the new drugs coming on the market are developed for sale in the United States. They are paid for by American consumers, while other countries, such as Canada, Germany and France, free ride at our expense. The United States is the last major country that allows the market to set prices high enough to compensate pharmaceutical companies for their R&D investments. Obama Care will increasingly control pharmaceutical prices as costs rise and federal and state funds fall short. Major pharmaceutical advances will stop (How well will government labs work?), and the rest of the world will lose along with Americans. When President Eisenhower suffered a massive heart attack in September of 1955, his doctors could only inject a pain killer and prescribe bed rest. When Vice President Cheney suffered heart attacks almost a half century later, he was given powerful blood thinners, a stent was inserted, and he was released from the hospital shortly thereafter. Before acid inhibitors, ulcer sufferers had only operations that cut off ulcerated portions of their stomachs. Before AZT drugs, an HIV positive test was a death sentence. tPA saved millions of heart attack and stroke victims. HPV is an effective vaccination against cervical cancer. Anti-psychotic medications allow patients with schizophrenia to live productive lives. The list goes on and on, but, in the future, it might get shorter and shorter. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, a new drug requires that 5,00010,000 chemical compounds undergo laboratory screening for each new drug approved for use in humans. Of the 5,00010,000 compounds that are screened, approximately 250 will enter preclinical testing, and 5 will enter clinical testing. The process from discovery to marketing takes 10 to 15 years, and only one out of every ten thousand discovered compounds gains approval. Although pharmaceutical companies routinely claim that new drugs cost an average of a billion dollars, the true figure is between $4 and $12 billion when the costs of failures are included. Pharmaceutical companies finance new product development by devoting a higher percentage of their revenues than any other major industry (an astronomical 20 percent) to R&D. It is the American consumer who pays these costs by buying the new drugs at prices that cover these R&D expenses. Free-riding Canadian, German, French and Dutch consumers buy at much lower prices and avoid contributing to the costs of product development. China, Russia, India and most of the developing world ignore intellectual property rights and knock off the drugs for sale in domestic markets with no compensation to the developer. In the United States, by and large, the market still sets prices of pharmaceuticals. In the United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe, the state either regulates prices or is the sole buyer, as studies by the AARP and the Senate Committee on Aging show. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that average prices for prescription drugs in the United States are 50 to 100 percent higher than in other industrialized nations, even though generic drugs sell for less. A single dosage of Nexium (the Purple Pill) sells for $4 in the United States and for under a dollar in France and Germany. According to OECD statistics, Americans spend $983 per capita on prescription drugs, including cheaper generics, while the Germans and French pay $680 and $634, respectively. Americans do not appear to be over medicated as Pharmas critics charge. They just pay higher prices. Me: You have to wonder how much Big Pharma will drastically cut back on it's R&D, thereby limiting the drug benefits that everyone might've received in the future. The left always assumes they can reduce the big profits that big corps make without any consequences. But those corps always adject, usually by reducing streamlining costs even more to just those endeavors that are the most profitable. I don't think you can cut R&D costs much unless you cut back on the testing req'ts; not sure anybody wants that. So, less innovation, and health care will not be as good as it might've been in the future. And we lose more jobs in the sector too, but what the hell, we cut into their profits, right?