Via America’s Lawyer: Prescription drug prices have surged three times faster than the inflation rate over the past decade. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A new report shows that drug costs have risen more than three times faster than inflation for the past decade, and so far consumers aren’t getting any relief. It’s not getting any better, and it’s not going to get better under Biden who we just talked about, nothing really changes, but these numbers frankly, are pretty startling. I mean, we’ve been doing these stories a long time.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And we’ve been talking about inflation, inflationary aspect of drugs and, but this, this is, this has gone crazy. 159% 159% when you can, when you take the inflation rate, compare it to everything else. That comparison is pretty ugly.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. I mean, even if we weren’t already paying in some instances, 20,000 times more in a markup, now we have to deal with 159% increase over that of inflammation.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay, well now, backup just a second. I think people that just heard that number, thought that was an exaggeration. Really Farron, 20,000? Yes.

Farron Cousins:                  Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             The number is 20,000%.

Farron Cousins:                  We, we actually have documents. We do have some drugs that are 200000% markup on those.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins:                  20,000 honestly, that’s a middle of the road number. We typically see between 10 and about 30 or 40000% markup between cost to make and sale to consumer. And so yeah, just to put that in perspective, but this number here, it’s not only that the 160% above inflation is horrible because it is, but even when you take the low income people who have the rebates, they get the coupons, they get medicine for next to nothing. Their costs still increased by 60% more than inflation. So even when you’re on these rebate programs and you are paying less than others because you’re, you know, financially unable to pay the full price, they want to charge you, you’re still getting gouged at the pharmaceutical counter.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Let me, let me talk about something here just a second. The viewers don’t understand. Okay. They think that this is uniquely one party that is pumping up the pharmaceutical industry, letting them get away with absolute murder, absolute murder. But the truth is it’s bi, it’s bipartisan, isn’t it? We saw it, we saw Cory Booker who was a presidential candidate. We saw a, we saw a chance of all things coming from Trump. Trump said, you know, why, why can’t we just import drugs and take advantage of drugs that come out of Canada? And, and it looked like it was gonna pass. And like at the last minute, Cory Booker goes around and he puts 16 Democrats together and they defeat it. Now, the ridiculous argument, we don’t know that the Canadian drugs are as good as ours. That was really their argument. Okay, so talk about that because people don’t get it. It’s, this is a Democrat issue, just like it’s a Republican issue. That’s why they love Biden being a contender right now.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, you know, drug companies are pretty smart with their money when they buy off politicians. They are slightly more Republican with it, but by 1% or 2%. they typically spread money evenly. So that way no matter who wins, they win and that’s what happened with Cory Booker. He’s from New Jersey. A lot of drugs are manufactured in New Jersey. That, that, those are his people. That’s who he represents and that’s who he’s going to take care of and that’s why he did this. But, you know, to say that we don’t know Canada’s testing their drugs like we do, we don’t test anymore.

Mike Papantonio:             No, we don’t test. Nor do we hold the drug companies responsible when they screw up and create a defective drug that kills people. They at least do that in Canada.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.