They make eye drops too big -- and make you pay for the waste. This is our first installment in our collaboration with ProPublica. Check out the full piece at https://www.propublica.org/article/drug-companies-make-eyedrops-too-big-and-you-pay-for-the-waste for their in-depth reporting, and stay tuned for more stories in this collaboration!
Correction: At 2:17 the graph should read "Total US Spending" and not "US government spending."
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So long as a Healthcare System is run as "for-profit", there will _always_ be the incentive to overcharge, waste more, and make money through shady practices. That's exactly how the healthcare system works in the United States, and why insurance companies exist - because if you don't have insurance, the hospitals just make some ludicrous number up to charge you for services.
Except for all the countries that have governments that pay for the drugs for the consumer. In which case its "How drug companies make your government buy more medicine than you need" before the government finally figures it out and yells at them.
They also waste alot of insulin in hospitals. Once a vial is used on a person it can't be used on another so they throw it away. This as a diabetic infuriates me as it's so expensive and there are so many diabetics that go without it at times because of the price. Really sad.
I prefer the way they are... I use eye drops not only to lubricate my eyes, but to wash dust or debri out. If they switch all bottles to the smaller tips, someone's going to make a video on having to squeeze to hard because the hole isn't big enough... Better yet, people will start poking needles in the hole to make it bigger risking stabbing themselves. I'm not sure what the negativity is with the way things are... Some just spend more time trying to change something most of us could never have even come up with 😕🙃🧐
Maybe I am missing something, but doesn't the waist also cost the Pharmaceutical Companies money too, after all it cost them to make the extra drug which is thrown out. it is not like it is being recovered and reused without cost. this video acts like there is no cost to manufacturing the medication in the first place. I can not understand how purposely creating waste is more profitable.
This video is misleading. The logic in the video only holds if we assume the cost or pricing is fully dependent on the volume of the final product. We know this assumption is false. The actual cost of manufacturing the drug is only a small factor determining the cost and price. Big ones are researching, marketing, how a patient is able to and willing to pay, and negotiation between healthcare and pharmaceutical companies etc.
my ex works at a pharma company, she tells me how she cant stand their bullshit.. I worked as a contractor at another pharma company and "got the jist" (via seeing how our project was managed) that the overall pharma company has money to burn, and just wanted to see why people seem to hate big pharma.. as I have often been "anti-capitalist" to an extent in my past.. but as I get older, I find myself questioning my beliefs, wondering if they have any basis in reality, or are the instances of big pharma/big corporations acting badly more so isolated incidents that get blown out of proportion in the public's eye, when put into perspective of the net actions of said businesses.. I still don't know..
The only reason these things don't get impleneted is lack of competition. Otherwise I'd patent the microdrop, market rhe hell out of it and become industry leader, but clearly this is a place where kapitalism and commerialism have failed.
I wonder if any part of the idea behind the larger drop is to provide a more substantial feeling of relief due to the increased wetness. I know that the majority of the drop ends up getting flushed out, but I wonder if it also creates a greater sense of relief for the user?
but it evens out! even Steven! in our favor!!!! the direct costs of the chemicals is not what we pay for... but we also get to way way underpay on other stuff such as when we fly.... for that one 99.9% of the actual costs are not paid until much much later... and by someone else! but this video is entertaining and what most of us want to "believe"... eh?
Oh my god, that's awful, forcing the waste of life saving cancer medications. Drug companies are ripping off patients, who are already paying over the odds for these drugs in the first place. It's robbing the sick and the poor and is morally repugnant. Shameful. Quite why Americans are paying so much for the meds boggles the mind. Very few other developed countries have that problem. When a country has an state medical system, which covers every citizen or resident, the drug companies are forced to deal with a large entity, a customer who will spend billions with them each year. In order to keep that business they have to negotiate prices, dropping the prices on common medications by up 95%. Meaning we don't pay huge prices for medications used by many people. Having each hospital, each insurance company deal with the drug companies separately places those organizations at a disadvantage. They don't have big enough contracts with the drug companies to force a reasonable negotiated price on cheap to produce medications.
Why is it that everyone acts surprised that people in a capitalist society want to make money? What's the argument here? Rich people have too much money? We should force them to not make as much of a profit? Sounds effectively communistic to me.
I still dont understand how the United States of America is the greatest country in the world while 643,000 people a year go into bankruptcy for medication while in europe, or even both of their neighboring countires covers their people regardless of income. It makes no sense.
You make it sound like medicine in itself cost money. They dont. If you're talking about the raw price the actual cost of the chemical cost a penny. It's the research, human resources, marketing, and what patients are willing to pay that determine cost of medicine.
Umm, why don't hospitals repackage a drug once it gets to the lab. I mean, what does it mean if it remains in a vile does it become bad suddenly? Why don't we for example just buy a bottle with appropriate dropper and just use a syringe with a needle to transport the drug without it contacting air. Or why don't hospitals simply open the vile and put it in a reusable canister in a inert gas atmosphere or something like that, it's not like it is impossible?
Does this also involve mental health drugs? I go to the doctor to get my monthly prescriptions. Sometimes I admittedly have some left over from last month, but I can easily say, “Doc, I have well over a 90 day supply of this drug before I see you next.”
And then he’ll just skip that month’s prescription. And occasionally I might run out and have to call to get the drug in the mail before my next appointment. But it’s super easy to do that. Mental health drugs contribute to so much weight gain, drowsiness, and other side effects that I doubt that the doctor would put me on a higher dose of a drug if I didn’t need it for my mental health.
The price of drugs is mostly based on the amount of research. The marginal cost of medicines is very low, you cannot just say 50% of the product is wasted so we have spend twice as much as we could have.
Lets assume that the current price of a medicine reflects the total cost (including profit margin for investors, research, advertisement, setting up production chain etc). Only a very small portion of the price will come from the base resources and production cost, so a 100% increase in volume might only increase the total cost over all products by only a fraction of this. We call this high-fixed low-marginal cost in economy.
In other words, the larger than needed volumes are probably just a cheap way to supply drugs for a fixed amount of doses (drops, or days of treatment).
If you guys are interested in more basic economy lessons, just contact me. If you guys rather continue making videos about how evil BIG CORPORATIONS are and how the ALT-RIGHT is racists and nazis, good luck ;)
Omg this needs to stop. Not only are we throwing away perfectly good medicine, but we're also throwing resources into making something that will eventually end up in a landfill. The first step to fighting climate change is reducing unnecessary resource consumption. This just contributes to the problem.
I take eyedrops regularly (I have uveitis). Firstly, my eyedrops cost €8 (suck on that, America), and the drops are not too big for my eyes. You're all just doing it wrong, or the American companies are ripping you off.
What is so difficult to understand? The cost of a medicine is not what you put in it but it is the r&d and other quality assurance costs. So when you reduce the volume of an eye drop from 20ml to 10ml, you will only save few cents worth of active ingredient or cost.
People who know nothing about how pharma business runs are making these stupid allegations.
There is an alternative way of dealing this wasted medicine problem, very common in China: hospitals are often allowed to buy medicine in bulk packages (that is, for example, 5 liter bottles of eye drops or boxes of thousand pills in packages of one or two) and repackage them for their patients. It is common to see nurses splitting one vial of infusion into two or three even though the vial itself is supposed to be single use with the patients that received the infusion out of the same vial split the cost as well, or doctor giving prescriptions in number of pills packaged specifically for the patient.
I wonder if it is possible to organize this kind of medicine splitting at a patient level: if two patient are prescribed with the same medicine but neither uses half the package at once, they can have a medicine splitting agreement that the two of them buy one vial of medicine together splitting the cost, and the hospital split the medicine between them. This reduces waste. As of eye drops, is it possible to use a (maybe 3D printed) plug to reduce the diameter of the opening to the microdrop sizes?
Does it actually cost anywhere near $5000 to manufacture that vial of cancer drug? Or does it cost $20 to manufacture and the other $4980 is to recover R&D costs and make a profit? If it’s the second case, wouldn’t they charge $4990 for a vial half the size, not $2500?
I feel like it's understandable that the cancer drug comes in bottles the same size. Otherwise a big, tall, muscular person would have to pay more for a dose than a petite person would, and that's not fair. Obviously a non-single-use packaging would be ideal, but some medications need to be single-use in order to stay in ideal condition. Correct me if I'm wrong, as I am not a professional in any case.
Why is everyone blaming industries for the costs of drugs in USA ? The expensivness comes from the governmental deregulation of prices and the very laxist negociations of prices with pharmaceuticals industries. Industries are capitalistic entities. They care about profit and will put the price as high as it can get on a market. It is up to the government to regulate these prices so that people don't have to buy drops that cost the same amount as a car.
The problem is, believe me, not the noozle or the size of the drop. The problem is the absence of pressure from the part of the governement. In France for example, governement IMPOSES on industries how drugs should be packed. For example an antibiotic that is administered most frequently say 2 times a day for 5 days will have to be packed in a box of exactly 10 pills. (I know it would not be a problem in USA because drugs are delivered by unit), but the same philosophy applies to all kinds of drugs.
Actually, the volume of the drop has to be calculated so that the correct dosage is administered. Another problem, that you didn't touch is that the patients often don't know how to properly take the medication as shown by the gentleman in your video who pulls back on his upper eyelid which does absolutely nothing good, but actualy impedes the drop to distribute correctly in the conjunctival sac. You have to pull down your lower eyelid which can hold at most 2 drops. You do have to be on your back when you do it.
Microdrops are a great idea, but industries don't want that not because of some reason for profits (they could price the new bottle as high as the previous one...). It's because they have to change ALL of their production and that implies that they have to go through EXTREMELY arduous procedures of going through FDA. Again. No one does that, no one will.
A universal healthcare system could fix all of this: private production, public subsidy for paying for the drugs for the consumers. Win-Win for both the producers and consumers. Add in competition from free trade and price negotiation like we should have in Medicaid and we minimize waste.
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.