Perscription Drug Shortages

NY Times article highlights 20 years of drug shortages and points out that conservative economics has not produced a market solution.

{{ Legislative action is the only real way to ensure the availability of essential medications. After 20 years of drug shortages, it seems clear that markets alone are not the solution. And there are a few specific ways Congress should address drug shortages. }}

Of course, the US has a health care system optimized for steadily increasing excessive Executive Compensation, rather than patient health. We patriotically accept death in the pursuit of oligarchic wealth and crony capitalism. Just as we sacrifice the blood of children for the 2nd Amendment.



They keep telling us the problem is with generic drugs. They are extremely competitive. If you invest to make one, a competitor can undercut your price giving you a loss and no way to recover your investment.

Do we need a government regulator to set prices? Then you could be sure of the price.

There are certain things industrialists get wrong that need to be criminalized.

The Sacklers need to be up on homicide charges. That a few members of their family are not up on charges speaks volumes of how lame legislators are.

Being rich and criminal is not exclusive of being an idiot. Under such conditions if you placed a pedestal under the bum stop being another idiot.

or a member of congress…

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BTAS is the opposite of TDS

No, generic pricing is OK. We probably need the Gov’t to maintain a “Strategic Pharmceutical Reserve” for essential meds. And pass legislation that allows the Gov’t to force a manufacturer to make product and sell it to the Gov’t at cost plus a reasonable profit. They outlined some of that in the article.



What is BTAS? plus extra characters…


A few extra characters? Okay

BigTAshatSyndr is the opposite of TDS.

Sounds to me more like the problem is that we depend on private industry too much for development of these medicines. Industry demands a profit - which they should. But that means that the purchasers of these medicines must bear the full cost of developing the medicines. Yet these medicines really benefit all of us simply by being available.

Because of that profit motive, industry has little incentive to develop medicines that benefit small slices of the population. They probably can develop them, but there isn’t sufficient profit available for them to take the risk.

We need to stop depending on private industry here and open up some fully government funded research labs. And I’m not talking about contracting out the labs to some company - as that company is again going to insist on a profit. I’m talking about the government employing scientists to work in a government owned lab to come up with new medicines that help all of us. Once it is developed, I’m fine with contracting out the production of the end product. Private enterprise can do that part quite well. They can mass produce the medicine and distribute it and still make a nice profit. It seems to be the research costs and the risks of finding something useful that are getting in the way of affordable medicines. So move those research costs and risks onto the general public.



This already exists. The govt funds basic research at the college/university level. The govt funds it via written applications from researchers. If approved, they get funded. They do the study/research. If it produces a potentially useful product that might have commercial value, THEN the school (with the researcher and his/her research assistants {i.e. grad students}) might be able to license it to a commercial drug company (Pfizer, etc) that will do additional product development and testing. Some commercial drug companies do sponsor specific research, but it is nowhere near the depth, breadth, and scale of govt funding. It is expected many of the govt-funded basic research will be a dead end. Which is why the commercial companies typically avoid it.

Yes, the gov grant money comes from agencies like National Science Foundation or National Institute of Health, etc. Faculty professors apply for grants to fund their research. They pay graduate students and post docs to do the research. Once academic research identifies a target, drug companies do drug discovery to address the target. And they sheperd it through human trials and FDA approval and then manufacture and distribution. Not to forget marketing and advertising.

The grants let science students attend graduate school paying little or no tuition and being paid while they do their thesis research.