Elizabeth Warren: Government Should Manufacture Drugs

Elizabeth Warren still believes she can be president. So, she must be on drugs.

Speaking of drugs, Warren has a novel way to control drug costs in America. Let the government manufacture them.

According to The Hill,

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday unveiled a bill aimed at lowering drug prices by allowing the government to step in and manufacture certain drugs that lack competition.

The bill from Warren, who is considered a likely 2020 presidential contender, comes as Democrats are putting forward a range of new ideas on how to lower drug prices, a top priority for the public and an issue that President Trump has also highlighted.

And while we’re at it, let’s put Warren in charge of government drug manufacturing. Because then all we need to make are sugar pills, aka placebos. “Pocahontas” can make people think they are healing.

As for the cost of America’s placebo manufacturing, I maintain that even if the government charged for air, we couldn’t afford it. I mean, Holy Mother of Al Gore, has this woman seen the cost of Obamacare?

And here we learn of the additional bureaucracy:

Warren’s bill would create a new office in the Department of Health and Human Services that would be empowered to manufacture generic drugs itself and sell them at fair prices, if no company is already making the drug, or if one or two companies are making the drug and the prices spike.

“In market after market, competition is dying as a handful of giant companies spend millions to rig the rules, insulate themselves from accountability, and line their pockets at the expense of American families,” Warren said in a statement.

Let’s say we went with Warren on this, I’d like to know who takes over the FDA.

Talk about the fox watching the hen house. What if the government makes a bad drug? Who do the lawyers sue?

I’d like to sue the government for forcing me to take on about $50,000 more debt with Obamacare. I was happy with my previous plan, and Obama promised me, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan…period”. Then he took away my plan and used tricky language to keep his bogus albatross insurance.

Did anybody sue over Obamacare? If so, how did they do?

At least in the private sector, I can get an attorney or join a class action lawsuit when I feel wronged.

More on the FDA. As CNN reports,

Modern drugs are often necessary to save lives, and drug companies blame the expense on the high cost of making them and getting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

At least the government could eliminate that FDA approval, given it is the government, right? Nice try.

If anybody thinks the government would get rid of bureaucracy, you don’t know our government.

Next, what drugs would the government take over?

Allow me to answer. The toughest ones to manufacture.

The toughest drugs have little or no competition. Also, those are the drugs with the least amount of patients.

I want somebody to make aspirin free or flu medicine. That’s the medicine people take routinely. So why not make drugs that are easy to manufacture, then give them away at steeply discounted prices. But what does Warren want to tackle?

Mesothelioma and a host of other diseases a few people get?

Further, how would you like to learn that your business now must compete with a business that has the deepest pockets of all, and never has to turn a profit?

Given that government has no motivation to profit, what is their impetus for research and development, and so on. For the greater good of its citizens? Like allowing illegals sanctuary, then absolving them for murdering Americans? Yeah, this reminds me of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan…period”. I’m not buying it.

Here’s the real irony of Warren’s proposal: Americans already pay for the drugs and the research. From CNN:

He co-authored a 2015 study that found that a couple dozen game-changing drugs were based on research done not by pharmaceutical companies, but by federally funded academic researchers.

“Making drugs affordable would not destroy innovation,” said Avorn, who is chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine.”

Since companies set prices to whatever the market will bear, then it is not really a surprise that most companies which are for-profit want to get their shareholders the maximum price,” Dusetzina said. “That’s merely being a rational actor in this marketplace.”

So the American taxpayer pays for the drugs, then the manufacturers set arbitrary pricing. These are the manufactures working in cahoots with politicians by way of lobbyists.

Yet Warren doesn’t see the obvious problem. Instead she believes we should remove the middle-man. This would allow government to steal our tax dollars then pay themselves.

And the price tag could be steep. The CNN article continues,

There are, however, drugs that patients take for life that cost tens of thousands of dollars each month. Manufacturers offer coupons and set up nonprofits to help defray costs, but not all patients qualify for either, Dusetzina said.

Duzetzina points to Revlimid, which treats blood cancer and costs about $20,000 for a 30-day supply. A patient on Medicare Part D, the program’s prescription plan, pays 5% of the price, about $1,000 a month, plus a $5,000 copay.

Some drugs have hit close to the $1 million mark, including a gene therapy, Luxturna, that can restore sight to children with a rare retinal disease. Its price was set at $850,000. A drug to treat hemophilia B that’s making its way through the approval process, SPK-9001, could cost $1.5 million.

Believe it or not, these are not the most expensive drugs.

1. Actimmune: $52,321.80 for one month

Actimmune is used to boost the immune system in chronic granulomatous disease. It can also slow malignant osteopetrosis, a rare bone-hardening disorder.

Chronic granulomatous disease is a rare genetic disorder that affects cells in the immune system and stops a body from fighting infections effectively. A person with this disease will typically get a serious bacterial or fungal infection every three to four years. About one in 200,000 to 250,000 people worldwide has it, according to the National Institutes of Health.

2. Daraprim: $45,000 for one month

Daraprim is an antiparasitic used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by one of the most common parasites in the world. More than 60 million Americans may be infected with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but people with healthy immune systems rarely have symptoms. Those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women can have serious reactions such as brain disease, blindness or miscarriage.

Maker Vyera Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, faced questions from Congress when its former CEO raised Daraprim’s price from $13.50 a pill to $750. Despite the scrutiny, the price remains high.

3. Cinryze: $44,140.64 for one month

Cinryze is a C1 inhibitor to prevent attacks in people with hereditary angioedema, a rare condition that occurs in one in 10,000 to one in 50,000 people. The attacks involve swelling of the skin, mucous membranes or both. They can affect a person’s upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and can be fatal.

4. Chenodal: $42,570 for one month

Chenodal is a tablet that helps a small number of patients with gallstones for whom surgery is too risky. Gallstones can block the ducts in the gallbladder and can cause severe pain.

The drug is manufactured by Retrophin, which did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Myalept: $42,137.60 for one month

Myalept is an injectable that helps people with leptin deficiency, a rare disorder; only a few dozen cases are reported in the medical literature, according to the National Institutes of Health. Leptin is an important hormone that helps control metabolic processes. People with generalized lipodystrophy have little or no fat tissue all over the body. The drug lowers triglycerides, blood sugar and A1C levels.

It’s manufactured by Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which did not respond to a request for comment.

If the government gets into manufacturing aspirin, each pill would cost $20. So how do you think they would fare manufacturing any of those.

How about we look at what taxpayers fund, then make sure the pharmaceutical companies provide the public a good return on investment. And let’s keep government out of the pharmaceutical business.



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