Richard Master, CEO of MCS Industries, mobilized a team of documentary filmmakers and researchers to connect the dots surrounding high U.S. medication prices, twice as high as costs in other countries. With no regulation, U.S. Pharma costs are out of control, contributing to escalating costs of health coverage. Even as U.S. taxpayers fund 80 percent of biomedical research, a high percentage of "new" drugs promoted by pharma industry are "me too" drugs - existing drugs slightly tweaked. Offering little or no clinical advantage, often at higher cost, such drugs are a means to extended 20-year monopoly patents for pharma companies.
Master notes that 2003 Medicare Part D legislation prohibited negotiation of bulk drug rates by Medicare, a gift to Pharma. About 60 percent of Pharma lobbyists are former congressional staffers who have moved through the revolving door. Master cites the need for legislation to permit Medicare to set up a national value-based formulary, permitting all Americans medications based on fair pricing, and to lower overall health insurance costs.