Medical roundup

  • No, the federal court ruling in Texas isn’t likely to take down the Affordable Care Act / ObamaCare [Ilya Shapiro]
  • Should doctors exhort their patients to vote? Hell, no [Wesley J. Smith]
  • “Accutane Litigation Goes Out with a Bang, Not a Whimper” [James Beck, Drug & Device Law] “The Worst Prescription Drug/Medical Device Decisions of 2018” [same; plus the best]
  • Proposal for price controls on Medicare Part B might amount to drug reimportation lite [Roger Pilon] Canadian reimportation as shiny object [Beck]
  • The European Medicines Agency has approved the powerful new opioid Dsuvia, and FDA head Gottlieb made the right choice in following suit, Sen. Markey and Public Citizen notwithstanding [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
  • “Your doctors didn’t jump out of business; they were pushed. And they were pushed by people way too convinced of their qualifications to redesign the world around them.” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason]

4 Comments

  • Roger Pilon correctly points out that the current drug pricing scheme effectively requires American payers to subsidize pharma R&D for the whole world. His solution to this is to move on and just accept this as a fact of life. Unless Cato and the Wall Street Journal have better answers, this problem will be addressed in ways that will be most unpleasant. As long as the United States spends far more as a share of GDP on health care than other advanced economies (just the difference is greater than the share our entire defense budget) without life expectancy and other measures showing better results, a better answer will have to be forthcoming or else Congress will mandate prices equal to those of Canada or the EU.

    • “Roger Pilon correctly points out that the current drug pricing scheme effectively requires American payers to subsidize pharma R&D for the whole world. His solution to this is to move on and just accept this as a fact of life.”

      There really is no other viable option.

      ” or else Congress will mandate prices equal to those of Canada or the EU”

      If the US Congress goes there, it will result in a massive reduction of privately funded pharma R&D. We either simply either do without new & better drugs or governments will have to step in and directly conduct/fund pharmaceutical R&D. The latter option, if put on the US alone is likely to cost far more in the long run than following Roger Pilon’s advice.

    • Life expectancy numbers are skewed. If you take out violent deaths, the US looks much better. In many countries (like much of Europe), an infant does not count as a live birth until some days or weeks later, whereas in US it is live if it breathes at all on delivery. This makes US infant mortality look much worse.
      As to costs, many of the US costs are because we are rich. Conditions that in other countries they simply don’t treat, we do treat. A big part of our expenses is end of life care which in poorer countries does not happen. Finally, optional costs (lasik, cosmetic surgery) and physical therapy/artificial legs etc do not happen in other countries but we can afford them.

  • but new and better isn’t. It’s really cool when your physician bitches about drug patents being extended because of some new “obvious” use that was neither.

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