Magazine article Drug Topics

Government R&D Contributions to Rx Firms Eyed Again

Magazine article Drug Topics

Government R&D Contributions to Rx Firms Eyed Again

Article excerpt

Drug prices are so high Rxs "should be placed in glass showcases like jewelry or watches," one retired pharmacist wrote to Sen. William Cohen (R, Maine). Sen. David Durenberger (R, Minn.) was searching for some cold medicine in his local drugstore when the pharmacist recognized him and recounted how some elderly customers can't afford even over-the-counter remedies and are "knocking a box into their purse" on some occasions. Drug prices, and the inability of some people to pay for their Rxs "is not a partisan issue," Durenberger assured Sen. David Pryor (D, Ark.), the pharmaceutical industry's most persistent critic.

The Senators, all members of the Aging Committee, were describing the experiences of their constituents before getting down to a second round of Congressional hearings on federal investments in new drug research and development (Drug Topics, Feb. 22). Pryor charged that the federal government, particularly through the National Institutes of Health, is spending billions of dollars to discover and develop drugs, which are turned over to private drug companies to further develop and market. …

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