Why do Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world? Ask the Republican party who in 2007 held the Presidency and a majority in both houses. These buggers used the power of their minute in total control of the US government to shove corporate drug profits so far up Americas ass its still costing them the highest prices in the world in 2016.

MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICE NEGOTIATION ACT OF 2007, better known as Medicare Part D, forbade any American federal government agencies from shopping for lower price drugs , than that required by big pharma operating in the United States of America. By law American agencies were forbidden to shop for lower drug prices in opposition to big pharma demands.

"Under current (George W Bush administration)law, written to appease the pharmaceutical
industry, the government is explicitly forbidden from using
its huge purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices for
Medicare beneficiaries. That job is left to the private
health plans that provide drug coverage under Medicare and
compete for customers in part on the basis of cost.



Ou812's picture
Ou812 2 years 6 weeks ago

In 2007, the US house of representatives had 236 Democrats and 199 Republicans. Nancy Peolisi was Speaker of the House. The Senate, was composed of 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 independents, who cacused with the Democrats. Harry Reid was the Majority leader. Both houses of the legislature were controlled by Democrats. Please don't write about what you no nothing about.....but that would't be fair, because you wouldn't be able to write antything.

In fact, it is your native Canada that lacks a pharmacare plan and pays more for perscription drugs than any other OCED (The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) Country.


al3's picture
al3 2 years 6 weeks ago

Well, the simple reason, without trying to analyse any complicated, corporate-friendly, profit-friendly, anti-consumer congressional prostitution deal cut with Big Pharma, is.....the fact that the U.S. is about the only country that allows Big Pharma to charge what it wants. Other countries have government implemented price controls that put Big Pharma where it belongs...to bow before consumers, not investors.

In a "free market," companies will charge the highest price they can get, where they can get it. When almost every country in the world limits drug prices, and the U.S. does not limit prices, guess what happens? ....Well, what happens is that U.S. consumers bear the brunt of the demands of profit hungry investors, because it's where they can get price increases free and clear of regulatory boogie men, and thus U.S. consumers foot the bill for much of the rest of the world's ability to get the products of modern Big Pharma.

I would imagine a meeting room in some shiny new office tower, where Big Pharma marketing people (who really add NO value to U.S. healthcare) concocts new ideas, ideas meet resistance, "Who's going to pay for the development of this new product?" Someone will answer, "We can just raise prices in the U.S. since there is no government control, to pay for it." "Then we can sell it, and profit from it, globally."

If you can visualise a global game of "Whack a Mole," where the mole is Big Pharma trying to raise prices and gouge consumers, almost every country in the world wields a hammer - and uses it, and that mole is battered back into the hole in most countries. The U.S. consumer does not have a hammer because it has been confiscated by Congress, and thus the mole emerges and devours everything in sight, and thus the U.S. consumer subsidises the availability of Big Pharma's products for most of the world because they pay the highest prices.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago


Actuality I mispoke ,the year that the George W Bush enacted Medicare Part D , they had control of all three houses of government, that was also the time that the Republicans enacted legislation preventing students of wiping student loans through bankruptcy.

NatTurnersGhost's picture
NatTurnersGhost 2 years 6 weeks ago

MapleLeaf---short answer---greedy bastards.

OU812...I don't know what that is you are sticking in your mouth either. Is it fair for me to ask you what that is, or should I make assumptions?

Ou812's picture
Ou812 2 years 6 weeks ago


Why change....You make assumptions on everything else.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 2 years 6 weeks ago


Why did you reference the 2007 link? Also, you completly ignored the fact that Canadians have no national Pharmacare program, and pay the highest drug prices of any OCED nation? Here is a list of the OCED nations, and there date of entry into the organization.


7 June 1971


29 September 1961


13 September 1961


10 April 1961


7 May 2010


21 December 1995


30 May 1961


9 December 2010


28 January 1969


7 August 1961


27 September 1961


27 September 1961


7 May 1996


5 June 1961


17 August 1961


7 September 2010


29 March 1962


28 April 1964


12 December 1996


1 July 2016


7 December 1961


18 May 1994


13 November 1961


29 May 1973


4 July 1961


22 November 1996


4 August 1961


14 December 2000


21 July 2010


3 August 1961


28 September 1961


28 September 1961


2 August 1961


2 May 1961


12 April 1961

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago


" Canadians...pay the highest drug prices of any OCED nation?" I call bullshit on that statement and here are the charts. Secondly, if you're going to go all nationalistic on me trying to defend the outrages indefensible drug prices in the US , move on i'm not interested in a conversation on stupidity.


zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago


Far as i'm aware, Blue Cross is the choice of most Canadians with regards to the payment of drugs along with ambulance services, dental and eyeglasses. The most I'm aware anyone will pay for this service is around $150 a month. In Alberta the province I live in , as a Senior if your yearly income is less than $30,000 you are entitled to subsidized Blue Cross, in some cases free or at a price not usually exceeding $75. This of course is on top of free unconditional health care, with no premiums, no caps, no deductibles. In fact many Albertan seniors pay nothing for the use of Blue Cross , which includes free eye glasses, drugs, ambulances, dental up to $5000. I wasn't trying to duck your question, its just drug coverage in Canada is so cheap its never been an issue. I wasn't aware of Canada relationship with other OECD countries with regards to drugs. Again most drug plans are so cheap, its never been an issue. As to free coverage of all services A to Z ,Canadians as liberal as they are realize that there are limits to the burden any government can withstand. We have unconditional free health care from cradle to grave since 1967, the same service for a family of 4 in the US costs in excess of $14,500.00 dollars per year in premiums, plus co pays and deductibles. So if you want to split hairs over a few hundred dollars per month a Canadian 'might' have to spend for drugs, I'm really not interested in the debate. As far as most if not all of us would agree here in Canada, we are one hell of a lucky bunch to be Canadian. In the past even noted by your own media, there have been endless bus loads of Americans headed north into Canada for the express purpose of accessing our cheap prescription drugs.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 2 years 6 weeks ago


This is fun!!!, the more you writhe, the more you prove my point. First The source i cited, was written by a Canadian Agency in 2015. The source you cited was written in 2004.Here are two paragraphs from the Executive summary of the source YOU cited.

"In the United States, government action has focused on creating the environment that would best encourage further innovation and yield a constant flow of new and innovative medicines to the market. The goal has been to ensure that consumers would benefit both from technological breakthroughs and the competition that further innovation generates. The United States also relies on a strong generic pharmaceutical industry to create added competitive pressure to lower drug prices. Recent action by the Administration and Congress has accelerated the flow of generic medicines to the market for precisely that reason."

"By contrast, in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries studied in this report, governments have relied heavily on government fiat rather than competition to set prices, lowering drug spending through price controls applied to new and old drugs alike. Such controls, when applied to new drugs, reduce company compensation to levels closer to direct production costs, leaving less revenue for R&D. As OECD countries individually seek to reduce spending on drugs through price controls, their collective actions reduce R&D that would provide substantial health benefits to all."

Even with all the focus on Goverment control of prescription prices, Canadian citizens (not Candian goverment) pay higher prices for prescription drugs than citizens of any other OECD Countries, including the United States.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 2 years 6 weeks ago


I lived in your lovely country for 6 years, from 2000 until 2006. I'm more than familiar with Canadian Health Care. Canada has no national health care per say. Each Provience has it's on plan. I see a similarity between what you have in Canada and HMO's here in the USA. I lived in Toronto, and I'M most familiar with OHIP. I never was a member of OHIP, but all of my Ontario friends were. I spent a good amount of time in Alberta, primarly in Edmonton. If a member of OHIP needed to see a Doctor in Alberta, there is paperwork to fill out before care is rendered. Just like HMO's here in the USA. My health insurance program was and is provided by AETNA. I had occasion to visit an emergency room in Vancouver, BC. Even though I was covered by AETNA, I had to pay the hospitial $300.00 BEFORE they would examine me. That would never happen in the USA. Patients from other countries with and without insurance are seen all the time at no charge.

I can also tell you, there is no waiting period for MIR's, heart bypasses, etc. The plan I have, and I've been insured all my life (I've been with AETNA for 28 years) has no deductible, $10.00 per doctor visit, prescription drugs are $10.00(generic) $25.00 (name brand), routine eye and dental care at no charge. The plan is provided through my spouses employer. I have no idea what the overall cost is, but the cost deducted from the paycheck is $66.00/month. That also includes ambulance service, and non-traditional doctors such as Chriopractors and ND.

I will also tell you, I took advantage of the Exchange rates when I lived in Canada. Everything is 20% cheaper than in the USA. At that time, I was also able to have my GST returned to me as long as the purchase was over $50.00 and I had the receipts. I believe that's changed.

As far as inexpensive prescription drugs Walmart and other retail store like Costco, CVS, and Walgreens here in the USA provide some generic drugs without having to have a health insurance plan. The cost at Walmart is $4.00 for a 30 day supply, or $10.00 for a 90 day supply. My doggie was prescribed a steriod that would have cost about $230.00 dollars for a 30 day supply. My doggie is not covered by any health plan. I was able to buy the generic prescription from Walmart for $4.00. I told them it was for my dog, even gave them my doggie's name to put on the prescription.

You have a lot to learn about the health here in the USA.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago

Canada Health Act

The Canada Health Act is federal legislation that puts in place conditions by which individual provinces and territories in Canada may receive funding for health care services.

There are five main principles in the Canada Health Act:

  • Public Administration: All administration of provincial health insurance must be carried out by a public authority on a non-profit basis. They also must be accountable to the province or territory, and their records and accounts are subject to audits.
  • Comprehensiveness: All necessary health services, including hospitals, physicians and surgical dentists, must be insured.
  • Universality: All insured residents are entitled to the same level of health care.
  • Portability: A resident that moves to a different province or territory is still entitled to coverage from their home province during a minimum waiting period. This also applies to residents which leave the country.
  • Accessibility: All insured persons have reasonable access to health care facilities. In addition, all physicians, hospitals, etc, must be provided reasonable compensation for the services they provide.

Provincial Health Insurance

Health insurance in Canada is handled by individual provinces and territories. New residents to a particular province must apply for health coverage. Upon being granted health coverage, a health card is issued which provides coverage in that particular province or territory.

For new residents, there are typically waiting periods before health coverage will be granted. This can vary, but cannot exceed three months as part of the Canada Health Act.

Certain provinces (Ontario) require health care premiums for services. Under the Canada Health Act, however, health services cannot be denied due to financial inability to pay premiums.

In addition to standard health coverage as described in the Canada Health Act, provinces typically provide additional services. These can include physiotherapy, dental coverage, and prescription medicines. Provinces are not obligated to provide services not listed in the Canada Health Act, and such services can be affected by changing government policies.

Private Health Insurance

While the health care system in Canada covers basic services, including primary care physicians and hospitals, there are many services that are not covered. These include things like dental services, optometrists, and prescription medications.

Private health insurance plans are usually offered as part of employee benefit packages in many companies. Incentives usually include vision and dental care. Alternatively, Canadians can purchase insurance packages from private insurance providers.

The main reason many choose to purchase private insurance is to supplement primary health coverage. For those requiring services that may not be covered under provincial health insurance such as corrective lenses, medications, or home care, a private insurance plan offsets such medical expenses.

While private insurance can benefit those with certain needs, many Canadians choose to rely exclusively on the public health system.

Public Health Care Providers

Under the Canada Health Act, primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals and dental surgery are all covered by provincial insurance policies.

Primary care physicians are the forefront of Canadian health care. There are currently about 30000 primary care doctors in Canada, and they account for just over half of all physicians. They provide basic medical treatments and preventative care.

Specialists are provided for services outside the scope of primary care physicians. Typically, an individual's physician will refer them to specialists as needed. There are currently about 28000 specialist doctors working in Canada.

Hospitals operate both with referrals from physicians as well as on an emergency basis. Ambulatory services are provided for those unable to transport themselves to a hospital in the event of an emergency.

Private Clinics

In addition to public health care providers such as primary care doctors and hospitals, many private clinics offering specialized services also operate in Canada.

Under federal law, private clinics are not legally allowed to provide services covered by the Canada Health Act. Regardless of this legal issue, many do offer such services.

The advantage of private clinics is that they typically offer services with reduced wait times compared to the public health care system. For example, obtaining an MRI scan in a hospital could require a waiting period of months, whereas it could be obtained much faster in a private clinic.

Private clinics are a subject of controversy, as some feel that their existence unbalances the health care system and favors treatments to those with higher incomes.

Costs in private clinics are usually covered by private insurance policies, which will typically pay around 80% of the costs.

Accessing Health Care

Accessing Canada's health care system involves first applying for a provincial health card. Excluding inmates, the Canadian Armed Forces and certain members of the RCMP, the Canada Health Act requires all residents of a province or territory to be accepted for health coverage. There is a waiting period in place for new immigrants that cannot exceed three months.

Once a health card is assigned, it is used whenever visiting a physician or health care provider. The health card contains an identification number, which is used to access a person's medical information.

After obtaining health coverage, one can register with a primary care physician. For routine visits to a physician, one needs only present their health card. There are typically no forms to be filled out or individual service fees.

The availability of physicians depends largely on the number of doctors and the current demand for medical services. Currently there is about 1 primary care doctor for every 1000 Canadians.

Health Care Funding

Health care in Canada is funded at both the provincial and federal levels. The financing of health care is provided via taxation both from personal and corporate income taxes. Additional funds from other financial sources like sales tax and lottery proceeds are also used by some provinces.

Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario also charge health premiums to supplement health funding, but such premiums are not required for health coverage as per the Canada Health Act.

At a federal level, funds are allocated to provinces and territories via the Canadian Health and Social Transfer (CHST). Transfer payments are made as a combination of tax transfers and cash contributions. The amount of funding provinces and territories receive is significant, and topped $35 billion in 2002-2003.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago


The average health care premiums per year for a family of four in the United States is in excess of $14, 500.00 , plus additional costs such as co'pays and deductibles. None of these charges exist in Canada.

Additionally until Obamacare, anyone with a pre-existing disease were denied get health coverage from most HMO's , unless of course they were prepaired to pay outrages monthly premiums and even then these included limits. None of those provisions apply in Canada, everyone is covered unconditionally , free of charge.

Prior to Obamacare you're US for profit system had even life time health care limits, whereas a cancer patient could be told they have reached their limit and the insurer will no longer cover treatment and if they wish to complete treatment that will be COD only. Canada has NO such provision, all Canadians are covered unconditionally with no limits.

Prior to Obamacare every year it is estimated at minimum 35 thousand uninsured Americans died of treatable illness due to lack of access to US health care. Even after tens of thousands of uninsured Americans die needless deaths. Again in Canada EVERYONE is covered with health care unconditionally.

Even after Obamacare , Americas health care system fails to cover an estimated 30 million Americans, these are mostly people living in red states, seems Republican governors are willing to let people in their states die needlessly , just to enforce their right wing ideology.

The OECD tends to give the Canadian health care system high marks on outcomes in its regular look at international health care systems. "Canada’s survival rates for breast and colorectal cancer are among the highest in the OECD," the international organization noted . "Canada also does well in primary care, preventing costly hospital admissions from chronic conditions such as asthma and uncontrolled diabetes."

Does the Canadian health care bury Canadians in tax debt? NO, actually the federal tax rate for 2015 in Canada was 15% tax on the first 45 thousand dollars earned. Anyone below an income of $12,000.00 pays no tax at all.

Overhead costs for operating Canada's single payer free health care is approx 5.5%. Prior to Obamacare and setting limits of 20%, HMO's routinely reported overhead costs near 30%. Perhaps that's how HMO, CEO's retire with nice lumps sums of one billion and are paid salaries of a million bucks a week, dollars syphoned off monies that should have gone to cure the sick or help the dying.

"A new poll conducted by the Toronto-based Nanos Research points to overwhelming support — 86.2 percent — for strengthening public health care .

“With more than 8 in 10 Canadians supporting public solutions to make public health care stronger, there is compelling evidence that Canadians across all demographics would prefer a public health care system,” said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos.

Ou812 from the tone of your fevered attack on single payer health care and your somewhat extraordinary defense of the abomination Americans call 'for profit health care' , i can only assume, you're selfish American who only cares about themselves or you're a paid provacateur here to try to undermine all attempts by the US to afford their citizens what every other modern first world country calls a right. SO GO AWAY.

Dukkah Earl 2 years 6 weeks ago

Zapdam, you're falling for classic misdirection. Stop debating Canada's healthcare. You created the topic, hold contrary opinions to it, otherwise they admit they have nothing.

FYI: the MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICE NEGOTIATION ACT OF 2007 was written to allow negotiations and the GOP in Senate filibustered it.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 2 years 6 weeks ago

Medicare Part D written into law by the George W Bush regime in 2003, just in time to buy Americas senior votes in 2004. Medicare Part D written by republicans , legislated that the American govenment was 'forbidden' from shopping for lower drug prices. George W Bush gauranteed the US would spend American taxes to pay the highest drug prices in the world. This setting the stage for all Americans being forced to privately pay the worlds highest drug rates. Since Americans consume most of the drugs in the world and 75% of all psychotropic drugs in the world, this meant a big payday for Big Pharma and worthy of massive donations(payoffs) to the republican party.

edwardmuphy's picture
edwardmuphy 1 year 31 weeks ago

Awesome topic that you have shared with us. Actually, Health is the most important segment of our life that's why most of the americans spends lot of money on our health in form of drugs. But i think taking pills like adderall buyonlineadderall.com for fitness intead of morning walk or exercise is not a good thing. I don't prefer pills but the doctor recommend me. Generally, most prescription drugs aren't authorized for over 1 year of refills without they should get a new prescription from the physician. Thus, a physician has to confirm. If your physician writes a prescription meant to last for 6 months, and it's gone in 3 months, something isn't right. Most likely it's normal, and there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. Yes, that's suitable we know the solution to your diagnostic test but we're sometimes not the correct person to inform you. Anyways, thanks for it.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 1 year 31 weeks ago

Edwardmuphy I'd forgot I posted this rant, thank you for reminding me. Actually in Canada when a doctor writes a prescription, like in the US it's usually good for a maximum of 12 months. My understanding the primary reason for this is to force the patient back in the doctors office so he can assess how the patientis responding to the medication. Even though our meds are much cheaper than the US, compared to European drug prices, we like you are being gouged. Also like your predicament now, we just just went through 9 years of a right wing government that did its best to subvert our health care system which they've opposed ever since our Liberal government enacted our single payer government run system back in 1967. They managed to inflict considerable damage, but the system is so well liked and so entrenched in our society, there would be a civil war if they tried to destroy it. The right wing in England are in the process of doing just that, destroying single payer health care system and guess whose behind all this , the US HMO's who are expanding their for profit death system world wide. Luckily Canadians had enough of these regressive backward stooges of the wealthy self serving class and threw them out of power and replaced them with a Liberal government headed by our youthful Justin Trudeau, the son of our former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who was our Prime Minister for 15 years. Unlike your US right wingers ,Canada's conservatives didn't try to be so brazen as to write into legislation, drug pricing would cost it's citizens the highest prices in the world. Another George W Bush attack on US society, that has no doubt lined the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies, but also no doubt has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Of course part of the reason these high drug prices were enacted by the republicans, was to overload the system with debt making chances of change unaffordable. How diabolical and sinister.

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The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018

It seems it's all racism, all the time w/the GOP...Neo-Nazi robocall hits Iowa on Molly Tibbett’s murder: “KILL THEM ALL. ” Richard Wolff drops by about the National Debt. Is it a disaster or an OK thing? Also - Trump & The National Enquirer - Is the Economy Here To Serve Us Or Are We Here to Serve the economy?