Will the Establishment's Neoliberal Model of Drug Profiteering Finally Kill Us All?
March 10, 2020 at 8:51 AM - Views: 14 #283635
- Total Posts: 5,354
“The prevailing model, indeed, in plutocratic America is that taxpayers fund the vast majority of research and development (R&D) for pharmaceuticals and then the intellectual know-how is turned over, free of charge, to private industry so that it can market these drugs under 20 years of patent protection and then make a fortune at the cost of the American people.” I would add that these fortunes are also often at the expense of other nations as protection of these patent rights is the driving force behind misnamed “free trade” agreements.
Inequality and personal bankruptcies are not the only evils that flow from this system. CEPR economist Dean Baker points out that the inordinate profits flowing from these monopoly protections create an incentive to hide adverse reactions to drugs. Companies are occasionally fined, but the costs are the proverbial drop in the bucket.
Sachs advocates a model for vaccine development that gives primary responsibility for funding and development to the NIH. Private companies could manufacture and distribute, but under strict requirements and in a competitive marketplace. He reminds us that one of medicines great triumphs, the near eradication of polio, emerged from leadership of a not for profit foundation, the March of Dimes in funding Jonas Salk’s development of a polio vaccine. Of course these were different times. A public sector that had not only won a war and overcome a depression expressed and nurtured a broad if imperfect public spirit. Nonetheless there are still reasons to think that a well funded and fully transparent and widely argued over CDC and NIH could sustain and be sustained by democratic commitments even in troubled times. Our neighbor to the North provides one suggestive example.
Brown University political theorist Bonnie Honig, citing work by Elaine Scarry, pointed out “the United States does little to prepare for emergencies. We have phone alerts and emergency broadcast signals, earthquake and fire drills in schools, but there are no detailed state or federal government plans that we all know of for orderly evacuation or shelter provision. …
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
March 10, 2020 at 12:44 PM #283675
March 10, 2020 at 2:05 PM #283704
- Total Posts: 3,777
The GOP and the Vichy Dems will take care of them.
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