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Santorum Tells Sick Kid Not To Complain About $1 Million Drug Costs Because People Pay $900 For An iPad

By Marie Diamond  

"Santorum Tells Sick Kid Not To Complain About $1 Million Drug Costs Because People Pay $900 For An iPad"

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While campaigning yesterday in Woodland Park, Colorado, GOP contender Rick Santorum told a sick child and his mother that they shouldn’t complain about the exorbitant cost of his medication because some people spend $900 on iPads. He appeared unmoved by the plight of the family, staunchly defending drug companies’ right to charge whatever they want.

The candidate also said that the parent and child unjustly felt entitled to get life-saving care at an affordable rate:

GOP contender Rick Santorum had a heated exchange with a mother and her sick young son Wednesday, arguing that drug companies were entitled to charge whatever the market demanded for life-saving therapies.[...]

People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad,” Santorum said, “but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.”

The mother said the boy was on the drug Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia, and that, on paper, its costs would exceed $1 million each year.

Santorum said drugs take years to develop and cost millions of dollars to produce, and manufacturers need to turn a profit or they would stop developing new drugs.

Santorum proceeded to lecture the mother and suggest she should be grateful to the drug companies for saving her son’s life. “He’s alive today because drug companies provide care,” Santorum said. “And if they didn’t think they could make money providing that drug, that drug wouldn’t be here.” He also claimed it would “freeze innovation” if pharmaceutical companies were required to offer their drugs at a reasonable price.

Although Santorum has been a vocal opponent of health care reform, his callous reaction is somewhat surprising given that he himself is the father of a daughter with a rare genetic disorder. But if the Colorado mother thought Santorum might be sympathetic to families in similar situations who happen to be less wealthy, she was sadly mistaken.

‹ Morning CheckUp: February 3, 2012

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