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The U.S. Government Is Primarily Responsible For The Relative Higher Costs Of Prescription Drugs v2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 390 times Debate No: 80127
Debate Rounds (3)
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*NOTE* This is the restart of a duplicate debate. We are switching me to opening arguments position as it follows logical process better.

Offering the debate challenge.

I would like to start by giving my thanks to TBR, and showing my appreciation for the opportunity he has afforded me by presenting the topic in a poll and agreeing to this debate. Additionally, I would like to provide clarity for the audience; the following list will elaborate on Pro and Con positions as well as properly frame the generalized term "relative".
  1. Con's (TBR) Position -- The U.S. Government is NOT primarily responsible for higher costs of prescription medications within the U.S.
  2. Pro's (MakeSensePeopleDont) Position -- The U.S. Government IS primarily responsible for higher costs of prescription medications within the U.S.
  3. Relative (Framing) -- The word "relative" in the debate title defines as "Relative to the new prescription medication costs as is seen in other modernized nations of the world."
  4. Costs of Prescription Medications (Framing) -- The word "Costs" as used in the debate title is defined as "The cost per pill charged BY pharmaceutical manufacturers / companies TO distributors, pharmacies, retailers, or any other direct from manufacturer purchaser.
  5. Direct From Manufacturer Purchaser -- Defined as "Purchasing product directly from source, avoiding unnecessary markup."
I look forward to a spirited and informative debate with TBR.


I accept the debate, and the definition with only one clarification. Where pro states

"Relative (Framing) -- The word "relative" in the debate title defines as "Relative to the new prescription medication costs as is seen in other modernized nations of the world."

"New" may be ambiguous in the pharmaceutical world. I ask to strike that word alone, and if necessary further define in context of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, this is pretty straightforward:
  1. The U.S. Government starts at the top level with 1 section.
    1. U.S. Constitution
  2. This is then broken down into 3 equal branches
    1. Legislative Branch
    2. Judicial Branch
    3. Executive Branch
  3. The Executive Branch which consists of the President & VP, is broken down then into 14 additional departments as well as a number of Independent Establishments and Government Corporations
    1. Health and Human Services (HHS) is one of the Gov Departments
  4. Under HHS is the most expensive headache of the Pharmaceutical Industry
    1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA, who is in control of most regulations for the drug industry, hides its own publicly available NDA (New Drug Application) prices hidden in a labrynth of wep pages on its own site. These prices, for the fiscal year 2010, was $1,841,500 PER APPLICATION. In total, there were payments made to the FDA as follows:
  1. Application fees -- $172,238, 150
  2. Establishment fees -- $183,328,513
  3. Product fees -- $173,709,880
  4. Total fees collected (just for Prescription Drug User Fee Act fees) -- $529,276,543

This can be seen at:;

It can also be seen directly from the FDA here:

Forbes also reports that properly adjusting for drug trials as is required by the FDA, 1 single new drug can cost a staggering $12 billion dollars, including clinical trials which can cost as much as $100 million a piece.;

On top of these staggering costs brought forward just by the FDA,, one the most FDA friendly review sites on the net reports that the process of getting a new medication from idea to market, is about 12 years.;

Next is the Affordable Care Act's new Pharnmaceutical Tax which by itself is costing between $3 billion - $4 billion to each manufacturing company each year.;

Worst part is, this only accounts for the FDA; this does NOT account for fire code, health code, OSHA, local taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, etc. Let's think about taxes for a second here: The U.S. currently has a 35%-39% federal corporate tax rate which is 3rd highest on the planet. There are then the state taxes of an average of 10%, followed by the local taxes which average 4.5%. That's an average total of 54% paid in taxes to the government annually.;

All of these expendatures outlined, it's not a wonder why prices for medications in America are so darn high.



I completely spaced out that I had this round coming. I will pass (FF) this round.

Judge on it how you please.
Debate Round No. 2


Great debate. Thanks.


TBR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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