Drug companies are making fewer generic drugs for cancer treatments and other medical problems, according to Fox News and the FDA. This is creating quite a bit of stress and upheaval at many hospitals, and increases the possibility of frightening medical errors.
Why are drug companies not meeting the demands and needs of consumers as well as they could? Well, there’s less profit
in the sale of drugs than there used to be. The purpose of government policy is to nationalize, socialize and “de-capitalism-ize” medicine, including prescription drugs, to the greatest degree possible. They’re succeeding at their stated policy. The result? More shortages.
Medicine is not immune to the laws of economics. If politicians decided that it were evil for manufacturers of computers and televisions to make a profit, and made it harder and harder through regulation for these manufacturers to make a profit, you would ultimately see either rising prices, shortages or both.
You cannot tie the hands of a company to make a profit, and expect there to be no consequences. Government tends not to tie the hands of computer products as much as they tie the hands of medical and pharmaceutical products/services, because they view the latter as more important.
The fact that nothing is more important than medicine is the strongest case for not hampering these industries at all. Keep in mind that he who pays for something controls the industry. Government now pays for more medical care in the United States than any other entity. As ObamaCare comes into being, government will control more and eventually perhaps all of medicine.
People think it’s wonderful to have government pay for all of their medical care, but they sure aren’t going to be happy about the resulting price increases and/or shortages that come about because of this intervention.
Fox News online reports: “The FDA cannot force a company to make a drug, but was able to prevent 38 close calls from turning into shortages last year by speeding approval of manufacturing changes or urging competing companies to get ready to meet a shortfall.”
My question: Why can’t the FDA force a company to make a drug? On the premises of ObamaCare and Medicare, government has both the right and obligation to ensure that all citizens obtain health care. If government has to force a company to make a drug, even at a loss — who’s to say that government cannot do this?
I’m not arguing in favor of this, of course, because I don’t believe government should be involved in subsidizing or regulating the medical marketplace at all (outside of fraud). But most people believe government should be actively involved in these things. How long before some member of Congress demands, “There ought to be a law. If people need this medication, they ought to have it.”
The “ought to be a law” mentality is a long, dead-end road to hell on earth. At the end of that road is a government responsible for not only sustaining the practice of medicine as we know it, but for sustaining the incredible growth in technology and care that has developed in the context of a for-profit, private marketplace. If capitalism perishes, in medicine as elsewhere, then innovation and accessibility will perish with it.
Our politicians take it for granted that profit is evil when applied to medicine and drugs, and to them, the less profit the better. OK, then. If companies are increasingly forbidden from making a profit, then who is going to replace them? Who is going to provide the health care we have come to expect in this country, and by what motive are they to provide it if not by rational, economic self-interest?
I’d love to hear an answer to this question. I’d love to hear all of the Republican candidates for President being posed this question. I’d love to hear Barack Obama confronted with this question, although I already know what his evasions in answering it will be.
This “little” development in the emerging shortage of medication for certain cancer treatments is one to watch. It’s like a little leak in a faucet that’s going to get a lot worse if you continue to ignore its cause, or even its existence.
The ability of people to survive cancer and other medical illness is going to depend very heavily on the ability — and willingness — of still healthy people to face the laws of economics, morality and what human life requires. This has not yet happened in America. It had better start, and soon.