The Invisible Hand of the Free Market…

Avoiding a paper on Marcus Aurelius, I started poking around the BBC website, and found these two related stories;

Obama orders action to address shortages of vital drugs

Feature, or bug?

Healthcare providers have also complained that because of the scarcity of crucial medicines, distributors have been selling drugs in the “grey market” at 100-fold more than their usual retail prices.

There’s this worrisome bit, though;

However it could take around 18 months for new production to reach the market, the FDA has said.

Erin Fox, pharmacist at the University of Utah says just a handful of companies are the main suppliers for many of the drugs in short supply.

A number of their manufacturing facilities were recently shut for safety upgrades. Shortages of some ingredients are also behind the bottleneck in supply.

But James Speyer, medical director of the clinical cancer centre at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, says the president’s action does not address one key part of the problem – drug profits.

Many of the scarce drugs are cheaper generics that yield low profits to their manufacturers.

However, I’m sure this part of the problem has been “taken care of:” from September 2010;

Drug shortage delays US executions

3 thoughts on “The Invisible Hand of the Free Market…

  1. There are absolutely no free markets in the United States. Not even one. Can anyone name just one? The object of any Capitalist worth his or her weight in gold is to set up a monopoly. To destroy all competition. To get rid of all competitors. That’s the goal of every Capitalist. Which is why they (the 1% and Republicans) want no regulations of any kind on any action that they take. Including taxation. And why the government, our government, must make and enforce regulations aimed at eliminating predatory business practices.

  2. On 12/31 have the FDA pick 5 drugs that are still on patent protection and have been in constant short supply.
    Use an executive order to revoke patent protection (thus allowing generic manufacturers).
    Repeat as needed until Big pharma stops creating shortages.

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