Share story

If my neighbor borrows my wrench because he or she has a leaky pipe, am I entitled to charge him or her $100 on the grounds that not fixing the leak would eventually cost even more? That is the argument guest columnist Larry Hausner makes to justify extravagant drug prices [“Pricey drugs stymie expensive care,” Opinion, Aug. 24].

A new drug that “could halve the risk of heart attack for 10 million Americans” costs $10,000 a year not because that represents the “upfront individual cost of medications,” but because the cost of care after a heart attack would be even higher. In other words, the pharmaceutical companies not only want to be recompensed for the cost of their products plus a reasonable profit, they also want a large piece of the estimated savings for potential heart-attack victims who, thanks to their medication, do not have a heart attack.

Jerry Richard, Seattle