For this Discussion Board, please complete the following:
One of the reasons for the rising cost of healthcare in the United States is the cost of prescription drugs. It is a complex problem and poses many ethical dilemmas for which solutions have yet to be implemented. Pharmaceutical companies set the prices for drugs and negotiate the actual payments with insurers. Insurers do not always cover the full cost of the drugs, leaving even insured patients to pay out-of-pocket for their prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money on developing new medications to help people. The price of the medication must cover the upfront costs of drug discovery, development and testing, and manufacturing. It must also include the cost of the clinical trials required for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the medication can be sold.
Read the following 3 articles about the high cost of drugs and how the pharmaceutical industry sets prices:
- The Ethics Behind the World’s Most Expensive Medication
- EpiPen Pricing
- Prescription Drug Pricing in America
After reading the articles, answer the following questions:
- What may be legally permitted is not necessarily ethical. What are your concerns from an ethical standpoint about the pricing of prescription drugs and the new therapies based on precision medicine discoveries such as the gene therapy described in the first article?
- Pharmaceutical companies must make a profit to stay in business, be accountable to their investors, and be able to continue developing new medications. Imagine you are responsible for drug pricing for a pharmaceutical company. The CEO has tasked you with setting a price for a newly developed drug that is profitable for the company and shareholders based on the time and resources that were used for production. If you turn a profit, you will receive a bonus as well. How would you handle the price setting in this situation? Use the resources to justify your decision.