Impoverished communities in the U.S. are left to run greater risks with tropical diseases when they cannot afford health treatments that should otherwise be accessible.
This is a result of drug companies not purchasing and providing simple treatments primarily because certain tropical diseases are not prominent in the U.S.
A pill for wiping out hookworms, for example, could cost up to $400 in the U.S. compared to prices of merely cents in countries like Tanzania, where the tropical disease is widespread.
The lack of availability of the drug allows the few pharmacies that have the drug to spike the prices to unreasonably high rates.
“When there’s limited competition in the market, the company that holds the monopoly is able to price [the drug] however they want,” says Dr. Jonathon Alpern.
It is estimated that more than 12 million Americans in the U.S. live with some tropical disease and live in extreme poverty, without ever accessing proper treatment that should, in theory, be accessible and affordable.
Read Full Story: NPR