Many problems associated with U.S. healthcare result from a system shared among federal and state governments and the private healthcare industry. Powerful lobbying groups also contribute to the problems we have since they have become very sophisticated and well financed. In the past, there were five major groups that played a key role in debates on various healthcare issues: providers, insurers, consumers, business, and labor. Recently, another group, the pharmaceutical industry, has increased its lobbying power and the results have impacted both organizations and consumers. With that in mind, please respond to the following questions:
- How does the pharmaceutical industry, as a special interest group, influence prescription/drug pricing in the U.S.?
- Consider the price you paid the last time you needed medicine.
- Knowing there are no current controls over pharmaceutical pricing, how is this impacting our healthcare system?
- How valid are the arguments of the pharmaceutical lobbyists?
- Should this area of healthcare have some regulatory controls? Why or why not?