Show of HandsShow of Hands

evanlauer April 8th, 2016 8:50pm

Do you think prices in the pharmacy/drug industry could drop if the government pulls out and lets competition run it's course? Or is government intervention the way to go?

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EPluribusUnum The Midwest
04/08/16 3:43 pm

The price may drop but if they don't intervene there is no way of knowing what the hell they would put in those drugs. It would be dreadful for consumers

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/08/16 3:51 pm

Look at a comment I made below. I am in full support of FDA regulation. I am not in support of any more government involvement in the industry.

Bobnpt The Ocean State
04/08/16 3:14 pm

No way.......are you kidding me. The needs to get more involved to protect the public from these health monopolies and crooks.

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/08/16 3:19 pm

Do you know what capitalism is?
The idea is that if another drug company comes along with a drug that serves a similar purpose at a lower price, that company will get more business. Then the original company will drop IT's prices to stay in the game, rinse, repeat. If the govt. would pull mostly out of big pharma, competition would drop prices naturally.

Classic fear mongering statement with no real evidence to back it up.

Bobnpt The Ocean State
04/08/16 3:47 pm

I used to be in the pharmaceutical industry.
1) outside of male pattern baldness and impotence, what had the drug industry cured in the last 60 years?
They are not in the business of curing people, they are in the business of controlling those diseases and making money off of continued use of the drugs. Someone with enough power and influence has to step in and fight for patient rights. They need to do more or we will get more moral midgets like Martin Shkreli. I could care less if you call it capitalism or what, but that's not going to produce better drugs.

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/08/16 3:50 pm

Drug companies haven't cured much because they don't need to. The market is jacked up and government involved. If they pull out, companies will pop up that do cure diseases/conditions because there is a lot of demand for that. I won't say all, but most problems with markets these days could be solved by a dose of capitalism and free market competition.

Bobnpt The Ocean State
04/08/16 4:01 pm

I have 2 children with Type 1 diabetes and I don't ever expect a cure. Too much money being made off its continued life. There is zero incentive from capitalism to cure.

WorstGooEver Nuke the Hurricanes
04/08/16 8:33 pm

So... Companies aren't bothering to cure diseases because of... The government? If the government said "do whatever you want"... THEN we'd get around to it? I like the "greedy SOB's" explanation better.

dfish at home
04/09/16 12:00 pm

I agree Evan. The gov'ts heavy involvement makes the pharma market into a game that only the big companies can play. That is why there is such little innovation. We see this in many markets our gov't is too involved in. They make it a market dominated by the few, an oligopoly.
If the gov'ts involvement was less then success would truly be based on market factors. You'd sink or swim based on you competitive price and product output

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/09/16 12:14 pm

Dfish... Spot on.

Bobnpt The Ocean State
04/10/16 5:46 am

I'd be interested to know how this would work. What you say makes sense in a perfect world. Almost seems like a "damned if you do" or "damned if you don't scenario".

04/08/16 3:06 pm

Yes. 100% true that prices would drop if the government left things alone

CMD1973 Oxford iowa
04/08/16 2:05 pm

Right now the competition does nothing. Most drug companies hold a patent on their drugs they developed. The price doesn't come down until it becomes a generic which is only after 7 years. Often there is only one source for a new life-saving drug. We are at their mercy. Government regulation is needed.

Squidboy Snarkapottamus
04/08/16 1:56 pm

You question is too simplistic. We need a legitimate governing authority to ensure these drugs are safe. The government should provide that and it could be self funded. After that, the government can remove price protections and let patents expire. It can also allow itself to negotiate with pharma companies. The government has created a false economy and we are all being extorted.

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/08/16 2:00 pm

Good point. What I meant was aside from making sure the drugs are safe and legal (I have no problem with FDA regulation) the govt. should be hands off.

Squidboy Snarkapottamus
04/08/16 2:05 pm

For the most part, yes. I think there should be a patent for long enough for a company to recoup their r and d costs. 5-7 years maybe. But in that window, negotiating on volume should be allowed. The ACA and Bush prescription bills were both sell outs to pharma. After the patent expires....then the original compound should be freely available as a generic, prescription or otherwise. This would save taxpayers 10s of billions.

evanlauer Redmond, WA
04/08/16 2:07 pm

Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

Squidboy Snarkapottamus
04/08/16 2:09 pm

If you care about the economics of this, I suggest the books 'Free lunch' by David Cay Johnston or 'Saving Capitalism' by Robert Reich. But you may need to take a sedative when you read them...they filled me with outrage at our sleazy government.