Thursday, September 3, 2015

Capitalism: A Drug Story

This is the war on drugs that America really needs. Doctors are taking on Big Pharma charging more than $100,000 a year for cancer drugs:

Capitalism: A Drug Story

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This is the war on drugs that America really needs. Doctors are taking on Big Pharma charging more than $100,000 a year for cancer drugs:

The doctors and researchers, who specialize in the potentially deadly blood cancer known as chronic myeloid leukemia, contend in a commentary published online by a medical journal Thursday that the prices of drugs used to treat that disease are astronomical, unsustainable and perhaps even immoral.

They suggested that charging high prices for a medicine needed to keep someone alive is profiteering, akin to jacking up the prices of essential goods after a natural disaster.

“Advocating for lower drug prices is a necessity to save the lives of patients” who cannot afford the medicines, they wrote in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

I love that, "wrote in Blood." But seriously, this is an obscene example of the profit motive im medicine. I understand the drug companies' point that, obviously, they need to make substantially more than it costs to produce the medicine, to pay for the high costs of research. But the profits show they're making billions above and beyond their R&D cost. Plus, I think it's an insult to people's faith in humanity to think smart people would only research cancer drugs if they could become multi-millionaires. I don't believe in across-the-board socialism, but I do think there are a few elements of American society -- health care and higher education spring to mind -- where we're way out of step with other nations, cost-wise.

Or else some dude can get rich off your loved one's cancer tratments. As Scott Brown would say, bqhatevwr.

Have a great free-market weekend.

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Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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