Entries in Medication (2)


Santorum Tells Sick Kid Market Should Set Drug Prices

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WOODLAND PARK, Colo.) -- GOP contender Rick Santorum had a heated exchange with a mother and her sick young son Wednesday, arguing that drug companies are entitled to charge whatever the market demands for life-saving therapies.

Santorum, himself the father of a child with a rare genetic disorder, compared buying drugs to buying an iPad, and said demand would determine the cost of medical therapies.

“People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad,” Santorum said, “but paying $900 for a drug, they have a problem with -- it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.”

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The mother said the boy was on the drug Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia, and that, on paper, its costs would exceed $1 million each year.

Santorum said drugs take years to develop and cost millions of dollars to produce, and manufacturers need to turn a profit or they would stop developing new drugs.

“You have that drug, and maybe you’re alive today because people have a profit motive to make that drug,” Santorum said. “There are many people sick today who, 10 years from now, are going to be alive because of some drug invented in the next 10 years. If we say: ‘You drug companies are greedy and bad, you can’t make a return on your money,’ then we will freeze innovation.”

Santorum told a large Tea Party crowd here that he sympathized with the boy’s case, but he also believed in the marketplace.

“He’s alive today because drug companies provide care,” Santorum said. “And if they didn’t think they could make money providing that drug, that drug wouldn’t be here. I sympathize with these compassionate cases....I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don’t have incentives, they won’t make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don’t.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


What a Headache: Rep. Michele Bachmann under Scrutiny for Migraines

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Is Michele Bachmann healthy enough to be president?

That is the question raised by a new Daily Caller story quoting several former aides to the Minnesota Congresswoman who say she is prone to "debilitating" migraine headaches that have landed her in the hospital and rendered her unable to perform her official duties at times.

“These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can ‘incapacitate’ her for days at time.  On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result,” writes the Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong, quoting sources who refused to be identified.

“‘The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills,” one of the unnamed sources told the Daily Caller.  “Prevention pills.  Pills during the migraine.  Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control.  She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”

A source who has worked closely with Bachmann over the past few years confirms to ABC News that Bachmann does get migraines that have put her in the hospital.  This source said that the “medication part of the story is way overblown,” but does acknowledge that it will be important for the Minnesota Congresswoman to come forward with her medical history.

The Bachmann camp's response to the story, according to the Daily Caller: "Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said 'she suffers from migraines and they’re under control with medicine.'  Stewart contested descriptions of the episodes as 'incapacitating' Bachmann but did not specify how the descriptions were wrong.  'The information you have is incorrect,' Stewart said.  She declined to discuss Bachmann’s hospital visits at all, saying, 'I’m not going to go into her medical history.'"

And for all the focus on next month’s Iowa Straw Poll and the likely entrance of Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the 2012 fray, this is an issue that could truly be a game changer. The health of a president is one of the most important criteria voters consider when it comes to electing the leader of the free world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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