Do pharmaceutical companies have a social responsibility to the public?

Milton Friedman wrote that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” One can argue that pharma companies have and have not adhered to this principle.

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Employers are sharing more of their healthcare costs with their workers

SUMMARY: Faced with rising premiums, U.S. employers are sharing more of their costs with their workers, particularly through higher deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Recent research indicates that employer plan premium contributions and out-of-pocket costs, like those for prescription drugs, are eating up an increasing portion of household budgets

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Private health insurers have contributed nothing of value to the American healthcare system

SUMMARY: Los Angeles Times…”The most perplexing aspect of our current debate over healthcare and health coverage is the notion that Americans love their health insurance companies. The truth is that private health insurers have contributed nothing of value to the American healthcare system. Instead, they have raised costs and created an entitled class of administrators and executives who are fighting for their livelihoods, using customers’ premium dollars to do so.” Ouch

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