The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Gout Treatment Rip-Off

Apr 25, 2022

If you’re a worker, and one of the 13 million people in this country suffering the agonizing effects of gout, then you probably can’t afford one of the most effective medications to treat it.

Colchicine’s history as an herbal remedy for joint pain goes back to ancient Egyptian civilization over 2000 years ago. Ben Franklin used it successfully to treat his chronic gout in the late 1700s and popularized its use in the U.S.

It was widely used for just pennies a pill until 2009 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry got their hands on it. They colluded in massive price gouging in search of super-profits.

Today, if you’re plagued with chronic gout, pharmaceutical scam artists charge the astounding sum of $896 for a three-month supply of Colchicine. It’s impossible for a worker to even dream of paying this amount! Even with Medicaid or Medicare and a supplemental drug plan, the cost exceeds $140, way beyond affordable.

Medicare and Medicaid costs for Colchicine have skyrocketed—for Medicaid a mind-boggling 2833% between 2009 and 2017. And the drug companies require full payment from the government for the balance of their retail price, and that cost is pushed right back on us with the taxes we pay.

So today, a large section of the working class can’t afford the gout treatment Ben Franklin used in the late 1700s! Makes no sense? None at all!