Do you believe in a free lunch?

Here is the president…

Will this be all upside for Americans? Can there ever be gain without associated pain? Will we have to give something up in order to get lower cost pharmaceuticals? Will the American people all get our medications at a price that has “come way down” without paying for it in some other way?


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20 Responses to Do you believe in a free lunch?

  1. Bman says:

    I dunno how much one can read into a tweet, but the key word I see is competition. Companies competing usually brings prices down on everything. What pain is there in competition of companies for the consumer?

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Seriously, I don’t know. Tweets indeed don’t say much. I will speculate, however.

      One of the ways competition is prevented from occurring is through patents. You could increase competition by shortening or eliminating patents so, shortly after a company rolls out an awesome new medicine, others can produce it too. Competition is created and prices drop. This sort of thing has been demanded in the past, especially by the left.

      Of course developing and testing a new drug is hugely expensive. Companies spend billions doing it because they know a new miracle drug will be in high demand and it can be sold profitably.

      Take away their patent rights and, after they spend a billion dollars developing and testing a drug, another company who bore no costs could just copy it and sell it cheap. That would definitely increase competition.

      It would also stop the development of new miracle drugs dead in its tracks. That would be a cost to consumers.

      • Bman says:

        Yep. When the patent ends and the drug become generic, it becomes ridiculously cheaper.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          Generic drug manufacturers have no development or testing costs. If a new drug goes generic right away, why would any company spend a billion dollars to develop it just to see a competitor sell it cheap and at a profit margin the developer could never achieve? They wouldn’t.

          • Bman says:

            No. They wouldn’t. I wasn’t advocating that. People have to wait for the patent to end if they want cheaper prescriptions. It takes time. I have no idea what Trump meant from his tweet. “New system” should put up a red flag though…

            • R.D. Walker says:

              I suppose the government could reimburse the pharmaceutical company for their development and testing cost and let everybody compete. I don’t know if that would work or not.

              Even if it did, it wouldn’t be a free lunch. It would be a cost to taxpayers.

              • Bman says:

                What “free lunch” would benefit more Americans most? Taxpayers funding say, NPR, or funding prescription drug costs? If we got rid of a few free lunch programs, this could be fundable at the same or even at lower cost to tax payers. Now, which programs to cut?

                • R.D. Walker says:

                  Drugs. I am not 100 percent opposed to subsidies and maybe that would be the right thing to do.

                  I just get annoyed that politicians – all of them – pretend like you can get something without giving up something.

                  You can never get something without giving something up.

                • R.D. Walker says:

                  For the record, in terms of scale that sounds like “what would you rather spend your money on, a bottle of Coke or a Toyota Camry?”

  2. roger says:

    too many here believe in that the working class and poor pay for the lunch and then the rich eat the lunch. chaffetz says the poor can buy healthcare for cost of a new I phone. anyone here know whereI can buy healthcare for 399.95 for a year as that is what an I phone would cost me at cellular. chaffetz gets subsidized govt. healthcare. not bad for a mormon conservative who doesn’t believe in govt. healthcare.

  3. notamobster says:

    I know how to reduce costs to next-to-nothing, but it will never happen because the people & the government lack the will:

    Get the government out of the private sector and out of the healthcare industry!

    28% of federal outlays in 2017 will go to healthcare spending. One third, for a purpose not expressly – or implicitly – enumerated to the federal govt.

    If I can’t buy insurance from Alabama or Oregon, they have no business governing it.

    If we eliminated this quasi-fascist alliance of corporations & government, the cost of medicine would drop to fair market value, by forcing the companies to compete for real customers instead of dicking the govt.

  4. RJM says:

    Yea, and there is no cure for cancer or heart disease.

  5. C. L. says:

    What has always irked me about drug prices is this. There are some meds that you would have to pay hundreds of dollars for in the US, but they are vastly cheaper in other countries. It seems like the driver for different pricing in when you ask, “How much for that?” And the answer is, “How much you got?”

    Another thing – there are some drugs you can buy off the shelf in other countries, but you cannot get them in the US without a prescription. I know people who live in the Rio Grande Valley who used to regularly risk getting in trouble at the border by buying drugs (like antibiotics) in Mexico. They don’t do it anymore because of the drug cartel presence in the border cities.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Other countries don’t always respect US patents.

      Overuse of antibiotics puts their effectiveness at risk and represents a risk to all of humanity. In the US, prescriptions put at least a little control on their overuse.

    • notamobster says:

      Again, the problem is regulatory costs. Yes, patents are expensive, R&D is expensive, and companies should be able to make profits off of there investments.

      We are the world leaders in medical advancement because of the profit motive. What’s the alternative?

      Would you rather buy cheap, subsidized foreign drugs and put American workers out of a job? Allegan employs 1000’s of people in Michigan alone.

      The fact that drugs are cheaper in Canada/Mexico is a good example of the regulatory excess in America.

      • notamobster says:

        I used to work with a Serbian (who came up under the Soviet boot heel). He complained about the “greed” of US companies(specifically healthcare related).

        His answer was for the govt to cap profit-margins at 3%. He was an asshole who tried to get me fired for 2 years. I let him go 2 years ago.

        He did everything he could to undermine me and I just smiled in the knowledge that 20 years ago, I blew up his hometown.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          Do you know how much fucking capital I am willing to put in an enterprise with full business risk and a maximum upside of three percent? I would be willing to invest $0.00 that’s how much. Everybody else in the world too. .

          • notamobster says:

            Dude was a fucking commie from the economic wonderland of Serbia, what do you expect?

      • C. L. says:

        I made the above comment with the (mis?)understanding that a US drug company can take pill A and put it in one box and pill B in another, all off the same production run, then sell the pill As in America at one price and pill Bs in a foreign country at a greatly reduced price, knowing that the health insurance companies here will pay whatever they charge, but the pill Bs go for what the other country’s people are willing to pay for them, and we get overcharged to make up the difference.