Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Big Pharma Protects The Environment

Here's a point to ponder.

My ex has no health insurance, and currently has nine separate prescriptions to address her congestive heart failure and related maladies. Of these nine, I've been paying cash for the seven that cost under $100 per month each, skipping the two remaining, exorbitantly-priced meds.

This week I went to pick up her Albuterol inhaler, which has been available as a generic for quite a while. Unfortunately, I discovered that it's no longer available as a generic. The pharmaceutical company now has another 2(?) or 3(?) year monopoly on this product which, since it is so widely prescribed, is probably worth a $billion or so.

The change?

The old-style inhaler used CFCs for the propellant; the new-style inhaler uses something more environmentally friendly. I'm guessing that it was big pharma that pushed for the environmental restriction against CFCs as a propellant for inhalers. I'm also guessing that more people will die from not being able to afford inhalers than would have died from the extra CFCs in the atmosphere.

So, an apparently innocuous and right-minded change to environmental law, meant to keep us healthy, is likely going to kill people.

No comments: