Get Big Pharma Out of Government

Lincoln Brown
|
Posted: Oct 14, 2011 12:01 AM

I’m proud to say that my great-great grandfather fought for the Union during the Civil War. In fact he gave a leg to the cause. And like many Americans out there, my sympathies lie with the Blue, rather than the Grey when it comes to history, re-enactments, books or the Ken Burns television series.

Setting aside for today the discussion of whether or not the South had it coming in terms of karma; the Reconstruction period in the South following the war was marked by the presence of northern opportunists who recognized that there was a great deal of money to be made by taking advantage of the carnage left in the war’s wake.

It sometimes involved land deals, sometimes politics, but it was an effort by a group of people to chisel something out of another group of people who were in no position to do anything about it. These people were known as Carpetbaggers, because their luggage was made from well, carpets.

It would appear that carpetbaggers are still at it, at least in terms of prescription drugs.

For a full list of the drugs that are currently in short supply, you can click here.

Some of the drugs on the list are used in fighting cancer and some are found emergency room crash carts, which could mean that an ER doc may be forced to decide whether or not the latest arrival via ambulance or helicopter needs a particular drug or if he has to save that drug for someone in the future who may “need” it more.

That is no way to do business, and that is no way to provide health care.

Now before you folks on the Left rub your hands together and say “You see! This is why we need Obamacare!” and before you folks on the right shake your head and say “Are you nuts for promoting Obamacare?” let me assure you I am not.

The problem is twofold.

1)      Drug companies are scrambling to meet new FDA regulations which slows  research and development and drives up costs.

2)      Some distributors and the emerging grey market for drugs raise the cost of drugs for hospitals other providers and consumers, apparently because they can. And the grey market is a business that could become more lucrative should healthcare rationing become systemic.

From here in the cheap seats, the answer is very simple: Let the market decide.

Yes we do need oversight of drug manufacturers. Conservatives are not against regulation, we are against over-regulation.  Something the Left always seems to forget.

Nor are true rank-file conservatives in favor of profiteering. That is a caricature painted by the Left. And it will come as a surprise to many progressives that conservatives do not favor industries leveraging lobbying power with lawmakers. Believe it or not, we work for our money and many of us are struggling financially as well. Don’t believe everything the MSM tells you.

But if we turn the pharmaceutical industry over to the free market, then drug companies would be forced to compete for the for the healthcare industry’s dollar. Pharmaceutical companies would be put on the spot to create better products and market them at a competitive price. Which is the way a free-market economy should work: the provider should be working to earn the consumer’s business.

The consumer should not have to plead for a company’s product. The company that meets the consumer demand wins because it attracts more business, the consumer wins because he, she or it gets a better product at a better price.

Yes, I’m talking about the government stepping back and relinquishing control, but in the same breath, I’m talking about the chance for the consumer, be it a health care facility or the individual to step up and take control of the market, and hold the manufacturer accountable for price and quality.

Take the politics and the profiteering out of the market.   


John Ransom | Create Your Badge

Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/bamransom -See more top stories from Townhall Finance. New Homepage, more content. Be the best informed fiscal conservative.