07 April 2016

Death-with-dignity advocates battle Big Pharma

Washington state Death with Dignity advocates have found a way to thwart a drug company that abruptly doubled the price — to more than $3,000 — of the lethal medication some terminally ill patients use to end their lives.

They’ve come up with a new mix of medications that induces death for about $500... Now doctors in Oregon have adopted the drug mix, too, as a way to ensure that cost doesn’t prevent terminally ill patients from making the choice they want under the state’s right-to-die law. And in California, where a similar law takes effect later this year, officials are considering it as well...

The issue arose last year, when Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Quebec acquired the rights to Seconal, the trade name of secobarbital sodium, the most commonly prescribed drug for aid-in-dying patients. The firm quickly doubled the cost, from $1,500 to more than $3,000 — and up to $5,000. That’s on top of previous retail price increases for the nearly 90-year-old sedative that once sold for $150 for a lethal 10-gram dose.
More details at the Seattle Times.


  1. That's obscene. It's actions like this that drive me further and further to the left.

    1. Your Liberal shortsightedness obviously blinds you to the benefits these price hikes will trickle down into the after life.

    2. The "hand of the market" doesn't work when there are negotiated monopolies between members of industry in order to prevent competition. Big pharma has used the Bell model in order to set up "territories" of drugs that they don't compete with each other to keep the prices artificially high. Patents don't even come into play here as most of these drugs are old and have been out of patent 30+ years so any other company could start producing the drug, they just negotiate which ones each of them will produce at a higher than market profit.


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