Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pharmaceutical Companies Under Attack - and With Them, Us

Here's a piece by Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute on pharmaceutical price controls. It's an importance piece, because most of the advances in pharmaceuticals occur in the US, and are paid for mainly by Americans. Essentially, we subsidize the drugs for the citizens of those countries like Canada that impose price controls.

"Big pharma" is accused of many devious and downright evil things, including ridiculous conspiracy theories about withholding actual cures for diseases in order to keep selling treatments (which, of course, make no economic sense). But without it, there are many, many people who would either no longer be alive or whose quality of life would be atrocious. I doubt that many who read this don't have a relative or friend whose life has either been saved or positively impacted because of this industry.

I worked for a medical devices company once, which functions the same as the typical pharmaceutical company. For every 10 innovations we made huge investments in trying to perfect, maybe one made it through the FDA and into the market. It's those tremendous R&D costs, which represent the lifeblood of medical advancements, that raise the costs of drugs. If Congress allows the reimportation of drugs from Canada, at Canadian prices, and from elsewhere as well, that R&D will no longer be funded and the incredible advancements will dry up.

If you're against advances in medical science, then you'll call up your Congressman and support the reimportation of drugs from other countries.

No comments: