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Eli Lilly and Company Message Board

  • psu_frb psu_frb Jun 7, 2001 9:03 PM Flag

    Drug Prices

    Economics 101

    If you don�t want it don�t buy it. It seems obvious in an advanced free market economy like that in the USA today that one would not have to say that if you do not want something do not buy it. People in our society make choices every day, this is as it should be; as adults we have the option and the privilege to make choices for ourselves. If you choose to go out for dinner then you may not have the funds nor the time to engage in another leisure activity. This is a choice that you are free to make as an adult.

    Our society is very interdependent, the vast majority of us do not provide for our every need, growing our own food, building our own furniture, etc. Thus we choose to work and to contribute to the well being of others in the economy in exchange for money which we then spend to meet our own needs. Each of us has the basic needs of food, shelter, water, and safety within the society. In addition, we all have secondary needs of education, medical care, and transportation (among others). These secondary needs are not likely to determine our basic physical survival but are necessary for us to function within our society.

    I have been dismayed for some time with the political debate on paying for prescription drugs. Although I acknowledge that these are very important treatments, they are less important than the basic human necessities of food, water and shelter. How many people believe that we should have a government program to cover each of us for our entire life to provide food, or for that matter shelter? Who would want the government making the decisions of where our shelter is or what design or features it has? Although there are those who think government should be more involved with our choices for transportation, and education, I believe that overall, government programs have shown poor performance at serving even a small portion of the total population. The programs lack features to accommodate individual needs, they become more bureaucratic over time, and are significantly less economically efficient than the free market is at providing the same services.

    This leads to several good points that have been made in a recent article by Ron Bailey:
    http://www.reason.com/0104/fe.rb.goddamn.html I am outraged by the political debate of the past 8 years that has sought to vilify the drug companies. I work in the pharmaceutical industry and the many people I have meet, and work with, are trying hard to provide safe and effective treatments to help other people. Would anyone like to conduct a survey to compare the honest and ethical standards of pharmaceutical workers vs. government workers?

    Instead of complaining about the pharmaceutical industry, I would like to see the Democratic party, and its members, make an attempt to compete. Go raise hundreds of millions of dollars of private funding to research and develop a treatment for a disease. Conduct years of scientific discovery, deal with inefficient regulatory agencies, prepare the drug following federal regulations on good manufacturing practices, get approval to market the drug, and then have someone in their own party tell them that they do not deserve to profit from the investment risk and hard work that were required.

    Which brings me back to the start of this essay, if you do not want a product don�t buy it, but please don�t expect the rest of the members of society to take care of your needs just because you are not interested in paying for them.

    Commentary #5, 6/4/01

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    • Very well said. The very idea that Washington can make choices for all throughout the country is ludicrous. Consider that Washington, D.C.'s Mayor Marion Barry was caught free-basing cocaine with two hookers during his first term. A short time later, he was re-elected. The voters who chose him twice work the desks in Washington to the tune of $18.00 per hour. I'd rather make decisions for myself and save the 60 cents per dollar it costs to have them administer Congress' plans for us.
      Even Congresscritters admit by their actions that they don't cotton to our health system, for example. Our Congressmen can go anywhere they want in the country with their own health insurance plan. They have their own retirement plan funded by taxes. They have no idea what it's like for you to exist on your health plan because they've been in office for 26 years. Term limits are beautiful, 18 state governments enjoy them now.
      I'm shocked at the attitudes our youth have toward big corporations. They don't understand that government is so big and pervasive throughout our economically distorted economy that big corporations have trillions offered to them by self interested politicians on a constant basis.
      It's time to check out the vision of national government on cato.org, acton.org, mises.org and lp.org.
      Price controls, regulations, thousands of laws on the same subject, millions of words to tell us how to send the money on April 15; these are all economic hardships brought on by a very costly middle man.
      We are on our way to mediocrity. I've long said that if the U.S. government ran the NFL, all football players would make the same $30,000 per year. Well, now the government's gonna run pharmacy. Mediocrity here we come.

      • 2 Replies to deywar
      • deywar:
        You are consistently inconsistent.

        In your posting (10003) that advocates regulating illicit drugs, you obviously think that Washington can make choices for us in this area. You have no problem with Washington Bureaucrats making decisions in this hotly contested area.

        However, in the case of prescription drugs, you state that "The very idea that Washington can make choices for all throughout the country is ludicrous".

        Typical BS.........

      • I have long said the same things on this board. However, I am not an unrepentant libertarian.

        There are some legitimate functions of government beyond the enforcement of contracts, criminal justice, and common defense. (The Preamble spells out "promote the common welfare", too.) In a wealthy and comfortable society, there is a reasonable expectation that we will in some way (funded by government) provide for those unable to care for themselves.

        Frankly, there are lots of dumb and ignorant people out there who haven't the faintest idea of the ideals espoused by Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founders (and still others who decry them as dead rich white racists, as if that negates all their wisdom). Further, most do not understand even the rudiments of economics and business and can't get their arms around the concept that some things MUST be big to work at all. (Oil refining and drug development come to mind...)

        Like it or not, we share this country with them, and lots of them vote with their hearts and not with their heads. The Republic founded by Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison includes them, too, and they occasionally outnumber us.

 
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