“Big Pharma:” Do those two words make you feel angry? Do they make your pulse raise, your blood pressure rise? If not, odds are you haven’t been listening to the President this year, railing against “Big Pharma” and the big bad insurance company boogeyman in his successful campaign to socialize our healthcare system.
A man all too familiar with demonizing the Pharmaceutical pariah? Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), whose landmark legislation designed to cripple big pharma profits has been thankfully compromised by good ol’ Chicago style politics.
Byron Dorgan is obsessed with big pharmaceutical companies. It’s been his “white whale”. For decades, he’s been trying to circumvent big pharma profits by enacting legislation that would open the doors for other markets to undersell them. His latest attempt, the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, did just that. It allowed foreign drugs to be distributed in American pharmacies, and it was met with such democratic enthusiasm the President actually co-sponsored it.
But then there was a problem. Obama’s vision of bringing change to America’s healthcare system was far greater than Senator Dorgan’s, so he made a deal with the devil. He promised the big pharmaceutical companies that he’d throw Byron under the bus and oppose his plan if they went along with Obama care, and they obliged. Weeks later, the FDA came out to oppose the plan. It was pure politics, and it was wrong.
But price controls mandated in government-run health care would be a disaster for innovation. Americans are paying the price for that innovation, and medical technology is advanced because of it. The unfortunate reality is, if Byron Dorgan gets his way, your kids and grandkids may not have access to the same sometimes miraculous results these medications provide.
For as much profit dollars that they make (big profit being the standard of evil, according to the Obama administration, of course) big Pharma’ happens to cure millions of people in this world. “Big Pharma” happens to create a great quality of life for millions of people, and when politicians like Byron Dorgan demagogue against them, no one should feel vindicated. Let the market continue to drive innovation: that’s the prescription for common sense.
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