In a sane country with prohibitions on corporate spending in politics and strong curbs on lobbying, you wouldn't have, e.g. prescription drugs advertised like retail products, heroin readily available in pill form (OxyContin, etc.), or drug prices that are across the board an order of magnitude higher than in the rest of the developed world.
These are policy choices, and our corporate-funded politicians (basically 99% of Republicans and 40-50% of Democrats) choose to put the interests of their benefactors ahead of the health and welfare of their constituents.
Shared from the Digg iPhone app:
The arsenal of medicines in the Hayeses' kitchen helps explain why. Pulmicort, a steroid inhaler, generally retails for over $175 in the United States, while pharmacists in Britain buy the identical product for about $20 and dispense it free of charge to asthma patients. Albuterol, one of the oldest asthma medicines, typically costs $50 to $100 per inhaler in the United States, but it was less than $15 a decade ago, before it was repatented. "The one that really blew my mind was the nasal spray," said Robin Levi, Hannah and Abby's mother, referring to her $80 co-payment for Rhinocort Aqua, a prescription drug that was selling for more than $250 a month in Oakland pharmacies last year but costs under $7 in Europe, where it is available over the counter.