General Question

flo's avatar

Why don't pharmaceuticals make more insulin to supply the needs of people from USA?

Asked by flo (12860points) July 31st, 2019

Why don’t Canadian pharmaceutical companies make more insulin?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/diabetes-insulin-prices-drugs-fda-pharmaceuticals-us-canada-a8961816.html
and
https://nationalpost.com/health/americans-head-to-canada-to-buy-cheap-insulin-some-worry-about-supply-here
No need for anyone to concern themselves that Canadians will deprived, if pharmaceutical companies just make more insulin, correct or not?

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19 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Low margins. Old product, no patent protection. Lousy return on investment,

kritiper's avatar

It looks like everybody makes enough, it’s just that here in the good ol’ USA the insulin costs almost 10 times more than it costs in Canada.

ragingloli's avatar

I am guessing because of import restrictions.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Most insulin comes from pigs. I’m not certain how the process works. They may have to kill each animal, to extract it. That could explain why it isn’t produced faster. Or, it could be a very slow process. The pigs need insulin too. It may take a long time, to get them to make it, and survive…

anniereborn's avatar

In the USA, all insulin is synthetic now.

MrGrimm888's avatar

That’s not what I’ve heard. But I hope it’s true…..

kritiper's avatar

@jca2 Here in the US, the government passed a law that says, something like, they can’t pass laws to regulate drug companies and drug prices.

flo's avatar

If there is so much demand, that means all pharmaceutical/s have to do is make more of it and sell it for less than or the same as whatever the minimum price is in USA isn’t it?

flo's avatar

“Since January 2006, all insulins distributed in the U.S. and some other countries are synthetic ...”
Why can’t Ctrl F find it in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_(medication) eventhough it’s in the search result.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_(medication) is the link I posted I don’t know how the above link happened.

flo's avatar

Why is the last bracket grey?

kritiper's avatar

The price in Canada is about $46. The price in the US for the same amount is something like $384.

Caravanfan's avatar

Insulin is made from recombinant DNA. Insulin is literally genetically engineered. So, the anti-GMO advocates probably want to stop it.

flo's avatar

I just researched “import restrictions” (@ragingloli‘s post)
The U.S. has the world’s highest drug prices. Faced with voter anger over the steep and rising costs of drugs, President Donald Trump’s administration announced Wednesday it will set up a system to allow Americans to legally import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.”
“The policy change, if passed, would reverse previous decisions by past administrations and weaken a longstanding ban that had stood as a top priority for the politically powerful pharmaceutical industry. So far, Washington lawmakers have offered no estimate for when this new legislation might take effect.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

Two things wrong with the Trump approach:

1) the pharma companies in the US are going to have a shit fit and their lobbyists will complain to congress and the president, and as a result there will be no actual change at all.

2) There is nothing to prevent the pharma companies from raising their canadian prices to make this ineffective.

flo's avatar

Why don’t Canadian pharmaceuticals make more insulin meant for the people who are crossing the border? That way there will be no Canadians worried if they’re affected by it.

Stpauligerle's avatar

It’s the law of supply and demand. If they hold it back long enough people will be willing to pay more for it then they’ll start releasing it again at a higher price

flo's avatar

@Stpauligerlereleasing”? Was there a time when they made insulin just for people who come/go to Canada just to buy insulin? I’ve never heard that.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

They make enough.

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