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Lowering drug prices requires intervention

As a physician who practiced medicine for 47 years, I read with interest the recent articles, “Drug prices regulation: pros and cons” (Jan. 22). The cons included an assertion that over-regulating drugs threatens Maryland’s life sciences industry. That is ridiculous.

Big Pharma always states that the high cost of medications is because of the expense of research and development. As a recent article produced by Reuters Health News reported, U.S. insulin costs per patient nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016. As a result, a “person with Type I diabetes incurred annual insulin costs of $5,705, on average, in 2016. The average cost was roughly half that at $2,864 per patient in 2012.”

However, insulin was discovered by Frederick G. Banting almost a century ago in 1921. It would be pretty hard to argue that the cost doubled in the last four years because of the expense of “research and development.” Actually, the cost doubled because of greed. In fact, Big Pharma annually spends more money on marketing and promotion than on research and development.

Dr. Leon Reinstein, Pikesville

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