The Washington Post ran an article recently titled “Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic.” The title is a huge understatement.

Facts presented in the article are deeply disturbing and clearly show that drug companies weren’t at all indifferent. They saw dollar signs and couldn’t wait to milk people for all they were worth, even as it cost the lives of many of their victims. It was a disgusting example of the profit motive run amok.

Greed had its way and it now fuels the fires of the worst drug abuse epidemic this country has ever suffered. It stands as a glaring example of the pitfalls of for-profit health care. It is a case in point of why health care needs to be run as a non-profit public trust, not a for-profit private enterprise. Health care needs to be driven solely by what is best for the health of the people, both individually and as a population, not by how can providers best line their pockets.

Beyond this latest case, examples of greed over good in our health care system are way too numerous: hospital/doctor admissions quotas, skyrocketing prescription prices, unnecessary procedures for the billable hours, and now the specter of a nationwide opioid overdose.

I believe most health care workers have their hearts in doing well for the health concerns of others, but until we take profit out of the picture we will continue to suffer all manner of greed driven abuses. It scares me to consider that, at some point and particularly at the end or our lives, we are all currently dependent on a health care system that may run us into bankruptcy.

 

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth


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