Letter: Lawmakers need to address drug pricing

To the editor:

The pharmaceutical industry does a fantastic job of developing and distributing modem lifesaving drugs. But, unfortunately in their greediness these same drug companies continue to gouge our citizens who need these drugs in order to maintain good health or in some instance to stay alive. In their desperation, some of our citizens travel to Canada or Mexico to purchase drugs at a far more favorable price.

Our elected officials need to step up, take this pharmaceutical bull by the horns and wrestle it down to a reasonable level of drug pricing. These politicians’ dependence on drug companies for election support needs to stop.

One of their first actions should center on repeal of the ridiculous laws that prevent any negotiation with drug companies in order to establish more reasonable prices.

In another area, our elected officials need to shut down the enormous amount of advertising for pharmaceuticals that floods the airways today. A large part of these ads covers potential hazards these drugs may exhibit and lists the kind of people who should avoid them. In addition, the ads remind listeners to talk to their doctors about the drug or to ask questions about it. Most doctors today are too busy to deal with this kind of intrusion into their time and instead should be left alone to concentrate on their patients’ health.

The staggering amount of money spent on these ads when used to lower drug costs would go a long way to improving our health care system.

Since the changes needed to deal with the problem of drug costs remain obvious, we need to put pressure on our elected officials to take action.

Richard J. Hansen,