Medical advances: only for the rich?

As medical advances continue, we continue to see more benefits being made available to those who can pay for them, which leads us to ask: Who should have access to life-extending products?

The rich may have unique access to some medical procedures.

Life-extending drugs are a luxury that someone needs to pay for.

According to Tufts University, pharmaceutical companies spend over 2.5 million dollars to bring a drug to market. For example, life-extending cancer drugs may have out-of-pocket consumer cost of over a thousand dollars per month.

So, how do drug companies fund research into these drugs if they can’t pass along the cost to bring them to market?

Life-extending procedures are experimental and expensive. 

Some scientists believe that a longer life span may be made available to people that can afford the stem cell therapies and genetic manipulation–or bioengineering–that can turn off the genes that are responsible for aging.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped into biotech companies in pursuit of the “fountain of youth.” Who will fund these companies if there is no return on investments?

shortage of physicians

The Association of American Medical Colleges report that we are facing a shortage of general practitioner doctors. A solution? To see more patients in a day, which means less care per patient.


A growing industry is concierge medicine, in which a wealthy patient pays an annual fee to get unique access to his physician, like same-day appointments and twenty-four hour consultations.

Access to medical procedures and products should not be determined by class.

aging should not be an economically-determined event

death should not be economically influenced

physician access and patient care should not be truncated or expanded in response to economics

For more information read here:

The new inequality: Health care (CNN)

The High Cost of Cancer Drugs and What We Can Do About It (NCBI)


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