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April 14, 2019

The "Canadian Pharmacy" Canard: Does It Fly?

I am a big fan of American pharmaceutical companies. Yes...yes...they are evil incarnate according to the left, and they certainly aren't in the business for the cleansing of their souls. And thank God for that!

I want my pharma companies to be hard-nosed businesses that strive to invent and perfect life-saving drugs that they can sell me for a big fat profit, which they can then turn around and invent more life-saving drugs, which they can sell me for a big profit...

One of big pharma's many success stories is "Ivermectin," a drug discovered by an academic and a drug company scientist that is an excellent and safe therapy for onchocerciasis, otherwise known as "River Blindness," which is the world's second-leading cause of blindness. Nobody is making any money selling this drug to the people at risk, but recently somebody discovered that it also works for rosacea, so there are now a bunch of upper-middle-class women spending lots of money for (in most cases) cosmetic reasons. And that is just glorious!

Another example is eflornithine, which was a crappy cancer drug, but a marvelous drug to combat trypanosomiasis, or "sleeping sickness." But how to pay for it? Well, it also impedes the growth of women's facial hair, so those suburban housewives get to pay for saving lives!

There are hundreds of these examples, and tens of thousands more examples of multi-million dollar research programs that went...nowhere.

But the no-nothings in the media and government want the drug companies to sell their products at the marginal cost to produce them, rather than a price that would recoup the massive development costs for successful and unsuccessful drugs. And one way they want to drive costs down is to import from Canada! Now...that sounds fine, at least on the surface. Because Canada probably has a robust regulatory structure to ensure at least some minimum quality...right?

But no...what these knuckleheads want is to use Canada as a conduit for third-world producers to undercut American pharma. You know, those marvelous high-tech factories in India and China and Indonesia and Vietnam producing the finest quality pharmaceuticals!

Here's an article that points out some of the problems with that plan. It's not perfect...the author seems to play a bit fast and loose with logic, and she is writing for a trade organization.

Look at the facts. Drug importation is dangerous.

But it certainly raises some interesting issues.

In a perfect world the American regulatory scheme would be designed to streamline the process of bringing drugs to market while still providing some minimum level of protection for the consumer. But it has morphed into a byzantine hell, in which good drugs are delayed while reformulations of old drugs are fast-tracked.

It really is a perfect government program. It drives up the cost of the products produced, while other parts of the government are conspiring to drive down the price charged by the producer. If I didn't know any better, I would think that there is some plan to drive these companies out of business.

&topic=world_news">digg this posted by CBD at 12:15 PM

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