Healthcare and prescription drugs are only strictly regulated as safe or unsafe, however, the term commodity would protect and control pricing. The pharmaceutical industry is one industry that has the highest mark-up of any industry. Mark-ups can exceed 8000 percent! The only pricing control in pharma is what the insurance companies are willing to pay and in some cases this still remains exorbitant.
Referring to medications and medicine as commodity would put in place the same structures that hold prices of other commodities--milk, fuel, etc.--constant. If these commodities are considered staples to an economy and population, so to should medicine.
Medicine should be offer to anyone who needs it and if neglect a person could meet a terrible fate, but in today's times medicine is being abuse by many member of society. We don't longer wait or trust are bodies to heal or fight an illness. We cannot even stand low levels of pain or even bother to eat healthy enough (there is vitamins and energy drinks), and why will we if there is a pill for almost everything. Now, I'm not saying that if a person has an illness that requires medical attention should just suck it up but that people are not longer taking care of themselves because they are taking medicine for granted. People eat what they want and do as they please because if they get sick they expect to be magically cure without doing any work by their own.
I don't think medicine is a commodity because you had to pay for it, we have to pay for pretty much everything, but because anyone with the smallest amount of pain or good enough acting skills can get some kind of drug that is not really necessary. This also influences the masses to not take care of yourself. I think medicine is a commodity cause (some) people are irresponsible of their own well beings and they had make medicine a commodity with the higher payer.
Companies that make medicine, like all companies, need an economic incentive in order to be innovative and create life-saving medicine. Therefore it's necessary for companies that make medicine to be able to profit from the products they create, in the same way that companies involved in other commodities, such as oil, hope to generate a profit. The profit motive is the driving engine of capitalism.
I don't think that it should be for so much profit. Yes, I agree with what a poster said in the Yes section...Profit is a motivating factor. I think that public health is a concern and that is something that should be funded heavily to create an opportunity for high pay for the pharmaceutical companies. While I believe the employees should be compensated well, I am not so much a fan of stockholders in medicine. It really should be not-for-profit. The money goes to the staff, the research and the production...The surplus goes into the next round of medications.
There's pros and cons to either way really. As someone else stated, profiting off of medicine creates dishonesty in prescribing (also known as medicine pushers). Profiting off of medicine also has people making good money off of your illness and your problems. Profit may be the driving engine of Capitalism but it can be it's own defeater too. If I am profiting off of my chronic illness medications that you have to take for life, then what motivates me to search or support a cure? On top of that, profiting medicine companies create and fund research to oppose natural or supplemental healers because it infringes in their profit margin. Public health should not be a competition to that degree.
Medicine should not be a commodity. People should be allowed to get the medicines they need, but at a cost that is fair and in an amount that is effect. Making medicine a commodity has a couple of negative effects. One, it allows marketers to charge people more than necessary for things they truly need. No person should have to chose between paying their electric bill or buying their heart medicine that has been marked up to three times its value. Making medicine a commodity can also influence the abuse of certain medicines. People who are addicts do not need to be allowed to get pain medicines, antidepressants, sleep medicines, and other medicines that can be habit-forming. Easy access to these medicines only hurts abusers and criminals trying to make a profit off of them. Limiting and controlling these medicines is necessary for the protection of those who actually need them.
People need medicine to live. In some case, it's a life or death issue, whereas in other cases it's merely a serious quality of life issue. Regardless, no one who needs medicine should be denied access to medicine. It may be not be possible in some cases to provide medicine to everyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay for it, but otherwise I don't believe that medicine should be viewed as a commodity in the way that, say, oil is viewed as a commodity.