Public production of essential medicines is an idea whose time has come. Broad-based support for taking this step has been growing, and on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced a bill that would create the public Office of Drug Manufacturing (ODM) to do just that.
Until this Bill becomes Law by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress, do not trust the parties of the Duopoly any further than you can see the corporations throwing Money at them.
I have been advocating nationalization of all Pharma for two decades placing it under the NIH including a mail order distribution system and in cities and towns bricks and mortar pharmacies run by the government. This is at least something. It has a snowball’s chance in hell of course but at least it has FINALLY brought up the topic.
This kind of mentality is part of the problem. The quoted statement holds true only so long as you continue to have a private sector/for-profit role in pharmaceuticals. This kind of thinking is akin to the “all of the above” energy thinking. It’s the traditional “we can’t do anything unless the industry we’re affecting approves of it first” bullshit.
Alternatively, if you move all drug development to the NIH and fund it generously and manufacture drugs with a non-profit/government entity you can achieve a single intervention panacea. All the while increasing health outcomes and lowering costs.
This loophole-ridden bill is typical Dim posturing: attempt to appear progressive, while not threatening the overseers – in this case the bosses of Big Pharma and the un-named middle-men. If the FDA actually regulated as it is supposed to, it would do more than this piece of toilet paper proposes.
That said, there is no need for a private pharmaceutical industry at all since taxpayers and people who buy the medications – which are often harmful and highly addictive like opioids – pay the bills. Take the profit motive out. Take marketing - especially to doctors - out. Take advertising out. Allow more non-allopathic medications and therapies that have been scientifically proven to be effective. Then you have a pretty good system of medications.
And of course start with good nutrition, regular sleep and exercise and public health education.
You are correct. The problem is that the things that you list above are well nigh impossible for
many Americans to secure in the day-to-day survival reality that is America 2018,
I wish more voters in this country were smarter, more sane, and compassionate. This bill is a great improvement to help the masses. But since when have a majority of law makers supported something beneficial just for the masses and not Wall Street?
This is so surprising because: 1- I did NOT see it coming, and 2- it is something I have been proposing for many years.
Insulin, epi-pens and a wide variety of other products that used to be dirt cheap, have been priced up by thousands of percent because the industry knows they can get away with it. That these products have not been under patent protection for decades, gives proof to the fact that a free market in health care does not exist. There has long been a need to develop solutions to niche health problems which do not offer enough profit motive for the corporations to bother with. Ebola doesn’t occur often enough, and Malaria only affects poor people - no billion$ to be made saving THOSE lives. The government should buy up or build one or more pharmaceutical manufacturing sites. HHS and NIH could participate in research and development of vaccines and other treatments for ailments which industry finds unprofitable to pursue, as well as use the site to train federal pharmaceutical inspectors. In addition to offering life-saving insulin or epi-pens or Narcan for pennies a dose, the threat of expanding into hundreds of other product lines might serve to moderate industry greed. I’ve never been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren, but along with Consumer Financial Protection, this is another excellent idea; and harder to find in Washington than Passenger Pigeons.
I too have promoted the idea that we use the government labs we already are paying for to take over the private drug companies that are bankrupting Americans every day. Enough with this unchallenged greed in the markets.
Are we all ready for the rollout of 5G for our smart phones and the coming IoT (Internet of Things)?? Read the above and then watch the following video, being sure to listen to the words of Dr. Sharon Goldberg up to the 3:12 minute mark:
The invisible hand of the market is very clever, and is getting very wealthy…
Here’s a good article on some examples of why we need public pharmaceuticals:
When this topic comes up, we frequently also hear the subject of ‘the root causes of so much illness’. For example of hearing about:
For example of how this applies, consider heart disease and diabetes. A major contributing cause to both is obesity. Which we might also term ‘affluenza’. There is an obvious societal cure for obesity and affluenza, although how it works might not be agreeable: adopt widely a (Marxist) socialist economic system. Such systems have many times turned breadbaskets, such as Ukraine and Rhodesia, into famine zones.
[It works in reverse, too. When Chile overthrew Allende and his communist policies, and implemented ‘Chicago Boys’ economics instead, Chile went from a country that had to import food to the richest nation in South America, a country that attracts immigrants from Haiti and other places.]
Who here knows what FDA regulation is supposed to accomplish?
The medicine wasn’t under patent, but packaging it into a pen so that it would work was patented. Here it is not a failure of the free market, but of regulation. The FDA and law suits over unsafety and failures forced a competitor out of the market. No competition then led to increased prices. This has eased in the past year as a competitor has entered the market again.