Prescription Medicines Cost Too Much? Blame the World Anti-Doping Agency

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The cost of popular prescription drugs may have just gone up. GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Holdings have entered agreements with the World Anti-Doping Agency offering company resources to help the anti-doping agency catch athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). If you think the cost of prescription drugs are increasing too much, you can now blame the World Anti-Doping Agency as one of the culprits.

GSK and WADA announced a deal this month in which the pharmaceutical company would share confidential information with WADA regarding drugs that have the potential to enhance the performance of athletes. WADA “scientists” also get to work alongside GSK researchers in the drug development pipeline. Additionally, GSK has provided a very expensive, sophisticated and fully-staffed laboratory to help WADA catch doped athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.

“We have a state-of-the-art facility, we have the best detection systems going, we’re right up to date with the science, and if athletes know you’ve got good testing and good detection systems, it really has a deterrent effect,” said David Cowan, head of the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London and the man who will oversee London 2012’s anti-doping regime.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has no plans to stop panhandling the major pharmaceutical companies. WADA hopes to sign agreements with more than five additional pharmaceutical companies to help them cover the costs of developing tests to catch athletes who use PEDs.

The Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group that represents more than 1,100 companies including Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), in June endorsed WADA’s declaration to identify compounds that could be used to cheat. Fahey declined to name the companies WADA was negotiating with, and said they number more than five.

Consumers who are struggling to pay for the prescription drugs can take comfort in knowing that their hard-earned money will go toward the “war on steroids” and performance-enhancing drugs in sports. GSK produces the popular prescription drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Levitra, Tagamet and Zovrax; Roche produces drugs such as Xenical, Valium and Tamiflu.

World Anti-Doping Agency

About Millard Baker