Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 26, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

A PHARMACEUTICAL QUIZ....Question #1: Who wrote this op-ed about how healthcare costs are low for some people but high for others?

For instance, elderly people who use a Medicare discount card and have to pay $1,299 annually for a drug that the Department of Veterans Affairs purchases for $322, according to a comparison by Families USA. Or middle-class families that lose health insurance and have to pay $29,500 for an overnight hospital stay, when Medicaid would have paid only $6,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It just doesn't make any sense. And, not surprisingly, the companies with the biggest profits those in the drug industry have been fighting hardest to maintain the status quo.

....A 2001 study by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found that drug companies' favorite customers paid just a little over half the retail price. This leaves the 67 million Americans without insurance to pay cash, with no rebates, at double the prices paid by the most-favored customers.

Answer: Peter Rost, vice president of marketing at Pfizer.

Question #2: How much longer do you think Peter Rost will remain a vice president of marketing at Pfizer?

UPDATE: According to several commenters, this is far from the first time that Rost has spoken out like this. So maybe his job is safe after all.

Kevin Drum 1:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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