Monday, July 2, 2012

Obama Care Will End Drug Advances and Europe's Free Ride (Unless China Steps in)

Ninety five percent of the new drugs coming on the market are developed for sale in the United States. They are paid for by American consumers, while other countries, such as Canada, Germany and France, free ride at our expense. The United States is the last major country that allows the market to set prices high enough to compensate pharmaceutical companies for their R&D investments. Obama Care will increasingly control pharmaceutical prices as costs rise and federal and state funds fall short. Major pharmaceutical advances will stop (How well will government labs work?), and the rest of the world will lose along with Americans.
The negative media pharmaceutical narrative reminds me of the boy who visited a museum noted for its dinosaurs, who afterwards could only talk about the teensy-weensy insect he saw in a glass case.  Little details caused him to miss the dinosaur.  The same lesson applies to the pharmaceutical industry – or “Big Pharma” as its critics call it. Yes, pharmaceutical companies do develop “me-too” drugs, use human subjects from the third world (Do you want to volunteer?), may cajole family physicians to prescribe drugs we do not need, and picture tranquil sleep, unobstructed breathing, and reliable erections in their TV spots. But these images of “Big Pharma” are the equivalent of the tiny insect that fascinates the boy who fails to notice the dinosaurs.

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