Is the Pharmaceutical House of Cards Falling?

Pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020. - US President Donald Trump announced May 18 he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for almost two weeks as a preventative measure against COVID-19. (Photo by GEORGE FREY / AFP) (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

The big pharmaceutical companies of the world, particularly in the United States, have been known to be questionable institutions for decades now, to put it lightly. However, new developments have put an increasing amount of pressure on these companies to better their practices. From being accused to fueling the opioid crisis, to increasing the price of vital drugs multiple times over seemingly arbitrarily, to developing new drugs only for wealthy markets, there are many issues facing the industry simultaneously.

This is not to say this is without due cause. Pharmaceutical companies have been engaging in practices that harm many different peoples for ages, however, it is just now catching up with them. Take for example the situation with insulin. For diabetics, insulin is a life-saving drug without which patients will die.

A new study has shown that skyrocketing insulin prices have caused 1 in 4 diabetics to ration their medications without doctor supervision, often with serious consequences. Considering that the price for the four most common types of insulin has tripled in the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry will have to answer for this.

Another issue facing Big Pharma today is that of the opioid crisis. The pharmaceutical company Purdue has been the prime target for this part of the general Big Pharma crisis, although other companies have been increasingly pressured to address their practices as well. Purdue Pharmaceuticals is particularly known for its drug OxyContin in relation to the opioid crisis.

OxyContin is a highly addictive painkiller that Purdue has been shown to push to patients without regard for the long-term effects of such actions. Addiction, falls, and pulmonary complications are just a few of the issues that OxyContin causes, not only at home but also

New lawsuits allege that Purdue took irresponsible measures to maximize their profits which led to many individuals becoming addicted to their drugs without taking to proper precautions to minimize damage.

Beyond this, Trump has made it a part of his presidential agenda to address the deteriorating situation with the pharmaceutical industry. The two main issues that the Trump administration has been addressing have been the same as the one’s previously mentioned, rising prices and the opioid epidemic. From raising public awareness with his Tweeting to proposing legislation to bring down drug prices, Trump has a great deal of power when it comes to addressing the pharmaceutical industries malpractices.

One of these legislations that Trump has proposed is one that would limit the ability of pharmaceutical companies to maneuver between middlemen and doctors. The complex relationship between pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and the middlemen in between have been noted as one of the main reasons that drug prices are so high today as there are a series of secretive transactions that add additional costs to the industry. When these costs are passed onto the customer, drug prices rise, and the people suffer.

Ultimately, something needs to be done about the pharmaceutical industry. For decades they have been engaging in a variety of practices that harm millions of people across the United States and abroad. Sooner or later, something was bound to happen.

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