Health Care Costs. Essay

1004 words - 4 pages

"Health care costs have skyrocketed over the last several years. The high cost of prescription drugs is one of the major factors affecting the overall cost of health care today. No one is immune from these rising costs. Government, insurance companies, private corporations, and ultimately individual consumers are all affected. But among the hardest hit are senior citizens who often have to stretch fixed incomes to meet a growing need for prescription drugs". (Attorney General's Office)"A 2001 survey of seniors in eight states found that nearly one in four spent at least $100 per month on their prescription medications. Thirty-one percent of low-income seniors said they dealt with this expense by not filling prescriptions, or by skipping doses of medications to make them last longer. Even patients with severe conditions such as heart disease and diabetes reduced their prescribed amounts of medication because of high out-of-pocket drug costs. Prescription drugs can be life savers if used correctly. But dangerous measures such as these can prolong an illness or medical condition and ultimately increase the cost of treatment. In addition to higher overall prescription drug costs, surveys show great variation in drug prices at the retail level. A 2002 survey by AARP and the Attorney General's Office found that drug prices varied as much as $44 for a 30-day prescription between pharmacies." (Attorney General's Office)Increase in prices of prescription drugs is an issue that affects every citizen regardless of their age, health, and financial status. Due to a weak economy and increased outsourcing, many people are out of jobs. Other workers are also losing their health insurance as companies cut employee benefits in an attempt to remain competitive and reap higher profits for their investors. Pharmaceutical companies thrive on every opportunity to tell the world about their contribution to combating deadly diseases by publishing elaborate Social Responsibility reports written to divert people's attention from the negative publicity criticizing unethical clinical trials and business practices. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to prosper, it chooses to ignore its ethical responsibility of curing people, by going to great lengths to impose higher prices on its products, as well as lobbying for stricter regulations that prevent the importation of competitive brands into the U.S.In order to properly to evaluate this particular situation, it helps to identify parties that are affected the most which include pharmaceutical companies, their shareholders, and U.S. citizens most of which have double roles as pharmaceutical drug consumers and shareholders of the pharmaceutical companies. Utilitarian theory which identifies with the concept of "maximizing the overall good" is the best model to use when analyzing policies of a chosen society. However, there are two approaches to this theory: Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism and conclusions will...

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