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What do drug manufacturers get from subsidizing medicine?


Most Texans have probably seen television commercials for drugs that air during their favorite shows. These advertisements often show attractive, active people who are overcoming their physical or mental ailments with the help of a certain type of pharmaceutical. These also often have voice-overs that very quickly list the various side effects that the users of the drugs might have. Sometimes, they may also allude to the fact that people who cannot afford the medication can get it for free.

It is true that drug companies have what are called "compassionate product" programs where drugs are donated directly to users, or through foundations set up by the drug company itself. However, there are other charitable enterprises that also help people with the cost of their medications, and to which the pharmaceutical manufacturers donate money. Some in the media have questioned whether these types of organizations allow drug companies to increase their own products' prices, while keeping consumers using them by having government programs like Medicare pay the bulk of the expense.

According to these reports, drug companies will donate large amounts of money to these charities for a couple reasons. First, they can raise prices on their products while minimizing the public relations problems such news might have by showing that they are helping patients receive their medication. Second, some claim that the charities have a vested interest in helping patients receive the drugs made by their donors rather than cheaper alternatives. While the charities and drug companies say they do not allocate funds in a way that would allow such activity, some are skeptical.

Ideally, the choice of what medicine to use should be a decision made by a patient and his or her doctor, and not be affected by how much it costs. In reality, the unfortunate truth is that the pharmaceutical industry is attempting to make as much money as possible, and this might sometimes result in unethical behavior. If Texas residents or their loved ones are injured by drugs that were defective of marketed for unapproved uses, they may have the right to pursue monetary compensation through a pharmaceutical liability suit.

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