January 23, 2011

2 things about the impending government takeover of medicine.

These items are side-by-side at Memeorandum:

1. In the Boston Globe, a Harvard nanophysics researcher named Mike Stopa says the term "death panels" "persists... because it denotes, in a pithy way, the economic realities of scarcity inherent in nationalizing a rapidly developing, high-technology industry on which people’s lives depend in a rather immediate way."

2. The NYT reports that "The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines."

Life and death — it's economics, and the government is here to help.

77 comments:

that-xmas said...

Anyone that reads Derek Lowe's blog (http://pipeline.corante.com/) would know that throwing more money at drug discovery won't really make much of a difference.

One billion is just enough to get one drug through FDA approvals anyhow.

vet66 said...

Reminds me of a joke Ronald Reagan told about the Russians. Seems the wait for a Zil back then was 10 years. The erstwhile buyer put his money down and the salesman told him the car would be available in 10 years. The buyer inquired if the that would be in the morning or the afternoon when he could pick it up. The salesman said it was a 10 year wait, what difference did it make.

The buyer replied that the plumber was coming in the morning!

mesquito said...

Whether the government can succeed where private industry has failed is uncertain, officials acknowledge, but they say doing nothing is not an option.

A straight-up lie.

Florida said...

"One billion is just enough to get one drug through FDA approvals anyhow."

Ann missed the entire point of the article. With the NY Times, you always have to read between the lines to undertstand what their true motives really are.

The point of this story doesn't appear until the sixth paragraph in order to disguise the article's true purpose.

The point of this story is to get Democrats used to the idea of abusing and killing animals by testing drugs on them.

You see, today, BigPharma can't test drugs on animals because of the eco-terrorists inside the Democrat Party. Ad so the Obama Administration has decided to abuse the animals instead.

NY Times: "The center may need to not only discover the right chemicals but also perform animal tests to ensure that they are safe and even start human trials to see if they work. All of that has traditionally been done by drug companies, not the government."

You see ... if the Democrat Party is abusing animals to enrich Big Pharma ... then it must be OK to abuse animals to enrich Big Pharma. Because Obama would never do anything immoral. So it must be moral to abuse animals for Big Pharma.

The NY Times is trying to get Democrats used to the idea that it is OK to abuse animals as long as they're doing so in the name of enriching BigPharma.

Because BigPharma donates to Obama. And since BigPharma donates to Obama, Obama will reciprocate by abusing animals for BigPharma.

You know ... for the money.

NB: One of the earliest signs that someone will eventually become a serial killer is that they decide to start abusing animals.

DADvocate said...

the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry

A direct result of liberal inspired government attacks on pharmaceutical companies. Private companies won't invest where they can't make a profit.


Government will invest in virtually any politically popular cause. Results, efficacy, speed of results, efficiency don't matter. They're trying. (But won't dare sacrifice they're holidays, vacations and other benefits.)

mesquito said...

Both the need for and the risks of this strategy are clear in mental health. There have been only two major drug discoveries in the field in the past century; lithium for the treatment of bipolar disorder in 1949 and Thorazine for the treatment of psychosis in 1950.

O bullshit.

Saint Croix said...

It just amazes me how the federal government uses every opportunity to get bigger and larger. You want new drugs? You could cut taxes to the pharmaceutical industry. That might work. You could enforce patent protections. That might work. You might speed up FDA approvals, so it doesn't take seven years to bring a drug to market. That might work. You could quit demonizing drug companies for trying to make profits. That might work. You could put constraints on drug litigation. We have more litigation against doctors, hospitals and drug companies than any other country in the world. That could work, too. You could free up venture capital. You could do away with all the stupid rules that keep companies from going public. You could repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. You could cut capital gains taxes.

There are all sorts of things you could do to bring more drugs into the world. But if you're opposed to capitalism and you're a socialist moron and you think a command-and-control economy has ever worked, ever, then there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do. Except scratch your head and wonder why new drugs aren't coming out like they used to.

Hagar said...

"Death panels" persist because, when you turn medical care into a omnibus welfare program - from Robitussin for a sniffle to a combination heart and double lung transplant - somebody has to set rules and monitor the proceedings.
And that is true whether you do it by openly nationalizing the medical industry and funding it by payroll taxes as in Britain, or by mandating private medical insurance and minutely regulating the insurance industry as is being done in this country.

The Drill SGT said...

Staint Croix wins. I associate myself with his articulate comment and will add:

as I think most people understand the pipeline for a new drug starts out with huge numbers of compounds being tested relatively cheaply. It ends with taking 1 possible drug through human trials that are years long.

The Feds want to help with the front end, which is already done with huge efficency by industry, but where costs are low, and do nothing at the end state where costs and regulation are huge.

maybe because that is where all the current Feds hang out and work :)

MikeR said...

"First, we need to have people buy the expensive medicines and experimental technologies. Europe has discovered this as its regulated system of medicine has driven its pharmaceutical industry farther and farther behind that of the United States. Capping costs kills innovation."
An important assertion. Anyone know where it comes from, if true?

AJ Lynch said...

As Instapundit noted this morning, a lot of what we see these days is a desperate money grab by Beltway poobahs. This Billion dollar govt agency to find new drugs is a good example.

Florida said...

Keep in mind, this is the exact same Democrat Party that in the Truman administration secretly infected Guatemalans with syphilis ... to, you know, see what would happen.

Democrat Scientist: "Just for shits and giggles, let's infect some Guatemalans with syphilis without telling them we're doing it and see what happens. You know ... for the science!

Second Democrat Scientist: "You kooky bastard! Let's go for it!"

John said...

So let me get this straight, our numb nuts of a President spends 2 years demonizing and targeting drug companies and medical device makers and now their concerned about the slow pace of discovery? Who could have guessed?

wv unworai newspeak for just chill man.

Florida said...

Let's review the facts about our vaunted National Institutes of Health.

NY Times: "American tax dollars, through the National Institutes of Health, even paid for syphilis-infected prostitutes to sleep with prisoners, since Guatemalan prisons allowed such visits. When the prostitutes did not succeed in infecting the men, some prisoners had the bacteria poured onto scrapes made on their penises, faces or arms, and in some cases it was injected by spinal puncture.

And they wonder why we don't want Democrats involved in our health care system.

It's because they're a bunch of immoral cocksuckers worse than fucking Dr. Mengele.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/health/research/02infect.html

Quayle said...

"The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines."

Because America has proven over and over its complete lack of innovation.

Obama's folks are like the husband that kills his wife then throws himself upon the mercy of the court because he's a lonely widow.

ricpic said...

The marxist is concerned about killing drug company R & D while he's killing it. That's our centrist.

Pogo said...

Death panels and fewer new drugs are the entire point of nationalized health care, not an unintended side effect.

The goal is power and control over your life, not insurance, not improved care, not anything medical at all. Those are merely the propaganda used to install socialism.

In short, the gubmint doesn't give shit about too few drugs, what they want is to run it all. Everything, down to the last jot and tittle.

That's the prize; all else is for show.

P.S. This morning our deacon at church spoke about how Jesus wants socialism, in so many words. I think I just quit.

Paul Snively said...

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand”

- Milton Friedman

Florida said...

"death panels" "persists... because"

Death Panels persist because the the Democrat Party is going to ration the health care that it pays for.

Rich, well-connected Democrats will get health care and poor people who didn't donate to Democrats will be left to die - because "it's not sustainable to help everyone."

If you are smart, you'll start donating now to Democrats so that when you get sick, you can call in your political favors.

Or, you can die.

Takes your pick.

The Drill SGT said...

good quote Paul,

alternately, they would not understand the mission, which was to get rid of the desert, and instead would create the National Sand Reserve and start buying it up in preparation for the rise of oceans and the creation of new beachfront

bagoh20 said...

The government would probably be better equipped to create new age cures - magnetic bracelets, flavored enemas - that kind of thing.

Pogo said...

New improved gubmint-run Health Savings Accounts 2011:
Now doctors have to write prescriptions for aspirin.

I kid you not.

Class factotum said...

The NY Times is trying to get Democrats used to the idea that it is OK to abuse animals as long as they're doing so in the name of enriching BigPharma.

I am OK with the idea of "abusing" animals if it leads to a cure for cancer. Or Lou Gehrig's disease. Or Parkinson's. Or even migraine.

If 10,000 rats or pigs or dogs would have had to die to keep my dad from dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I would have wielded the syringe myself.

virgil xenophon said...

Saint Croix and Pogo have the point bracketed. Fire for effect..

PS: And the award for TOTAL VAGUENESS--for incessantly beating around the bush--goes to, Ta-DA!: mesquito.

PaulV said...

Someone owes Shakespalin royalties for her "death Panels"

bagoh20 said...

Florida: "immoral cocksuckers "

That would make a great band name.

bagoh20 said...

Hours of speechifying vs 2 words. The momma grizzly is a lethal animal.

chuckR said...

OK, play the role of the Republicans on the Appropriations Committee. How do you handle O's request for the trivial billion dollars that only gets one drug through the FDA? That is, how do you handle it without the donks successfully claiming that you are stifling innovation and killing people?

virgil xenophon said...

Florida is on the money about the Soviet-style nature of Obamacare as it will inevitably play out. The Nomenklatura will get special care first, the rich will fly off-shore, the politically connected will be taken care of; and all the rest (the majority) the unconnected poor and middle-class alike, will wait for hours, days--months, for second-class care on a par with most existing county health programs for the indigent.

Medical care for the majority will not be improved in the slightest--it will be ratcheted down in quality to the lowest common denominator, wait times lengthened, and treatment parceled out or denied (rationed) under the mantra of "fairness" and "equity."

Don't anybody get sick unless you're rich, connected, or part of the Nomenklatura yourself.

ironrailsironweights said...

I'd be ecstatic to see a complete government takeover of health care in America. Full socialized medicine, no halfway measures, with outcome-based rationing.

Peter

Pogo said...

Socialists never tire of touting their perpetual motion machines, no matter how many times they've failed in the past, no matter how many people are killed in the process.

The siren song is so lovely, they cannot even see the wrecks strewnn about them, crashed on the rocks of reality.

Dopes spring eternal.

Saint Croix said...

Obama does not get enough crap for his moralism. Right-wingers are far, far more tolerant about lust than liberals are about greed.

Obama constantly preaches against greed. He's obsessed with the sins of other people. He wants to obliterate greed, to punish it. He wants to hurt the greedy.

His desire to punish people for spiritual wickedness makes him resemble a secular version of a Puritan minister. "Greed, greed, greed!"

He wants to regulate and tax and increase his own power because he is above greed. He feels no greed. Greed is something that other people are tempted by. Not Obama the Pure.

Like a Marxist or an Islamic fundamentalist, he hates capitalists, and bankers and people who profit and want to make money. Hates them. Wants to stop all that greed! You wicked, wicked people.

Meanwhile, unemployment rises, and the poor suffer. But the media doesn't want to say anything about this. The media wants to keep things cheerful and upbeat. Things will get better. Obama is leading us. And he's not greedy. Not like those Bad People on Wall Street.

Sinners! Repent! Give up your pursuit of the almighty dollar and join our leader on the path to a righteous poverty!

chickelit said...

The pace of drug discovery in China and India runs apace. They learned well. They sent their best students over here for decades. Our best minds no longer go into the hard sciences.

We encouraged other nation's nascent chemical industries because they could make things cheaper without the oversight of our EPA etc.

The Federal government channeled drug discovery resources into finding cures for behavior-preventable diseases like obesity, HIV and their consequences.

Fears of litigation drive up the costs of testing.

The list goes on...Obama is not responsible for these woes and trends--we are--through our collective neglect.

Pogo said...

"Obama is not responsible for these woes and trends--we are--through our collective neglect."

Rather, our collectivist sect.

Hagar said...

It should be pointed out, but rarely is, that Britain does not have a "complete" National Health Service. Private doctors, clinics, and hospitals still exist, and the well-off carry insurance that will pay for treatment at these facilities if they cannot get it from the NHS, or do not want to wait for the NHS to have a treatment available. The really wealthy, of course, just pay cash and get immediate and good service.

Fen said...

I'd be ecstatic to see a complete government takeover of health care in America. Full socialized medicine, no halfway measures, with outcome-based rationing.

And don't forget - your level of care will be directly tied to your political connections.

Florida said...

"If 10,000 rats or pigs or dogs would have had to die to keep my dad from dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I would have wielded the syringe myself."

Yes, but most Democrats believe that abusing animals in this manner is immoral.

And yet, Barack Obama's administration is proposing in the NY Times a new government bureaucracy whose purpose is to abuse animals - just so that Big Pharma can make even higher profits and so their rich CEOs can take home even more millions in pay.

I think most Democrats would vehemently oppose such a plan. Or at least claim to when they think they're being watched.

Why should Democrats abuse animals just so Big Pharma can increase its profits? I thought Big Pharma was evil.

Now Barack Obama wants to hold down the cute puppies while the Democrat Party pharmaceutical donors inject them with various diseases.

You know ... for the science.


Fucking sickos.

PatCA said...

It is heartbreaking to watch the relentless pace of sovietization, while the media are sleeping-- or worse, actually providing Obama cover for his march to socialism.

This takeover of drug research is classic: regulate an industry to death, then take it over to "improve" it.

Even if the GOP wanted to stop it, could they? Did Jimmy Carter go this far?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The government has the power to put you in jail. Once they have the power to provide or withhold health care, there will be a synthesis of the two powers. Any human activity that is liable to create indemnity in the health care area will be subject to sanction. Does smoking cost the public money? Of course it does. It will be banned, and nobody will really object. But what about say, waterskiing? Riding motorcycles? Hunting or any recreational shooting? They cost the public a lot of money and must be banned. This isn't paranoia, this is what will happen, and what is happening in the UK. As others in this thread have pointed out, this is the true goal of the left, not better health care.

edutcher said...

It starts, of course, with William Ayers and the rest of the small c communists at the Ivy League dumbing down education with self-esteem, rather than analytical thinking, so the students will be good little sheep and vote for whatever "sort of God" the demos put in front of them.

Add to that Slobbering Barney and the Friend of Angelo doing their best to make doing business that much harder (and more expensive).

Then we have the former Serial-Rapist-In-Chief with his subprime mortgages.

Then you have that-xmas reminding us of how difficult it is to bring a new drug to market (I did a paper on this a couple of years ago and xmas scratches the surface of the problems involved).

And finally Saint Croix with his excellent summation of what needs to be done to undo the mess the Demos and their RINO handmaidens have made over the last half century, "You could cut taxes to the pharmaceutical industry. ... You could enforce patent protections. ... You might speed up FDA approvals, so it doesn't take seven years to bring a drug to market. ... You could quit demonizing drug companies for trying to make profits. ... You could put constraints on drug litigation. ... You could free up venture capital. You could do away with all the stupid rules that keep companies from going public. You could repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. You could cut capital gains taxes."

In other words, this didn't start yesterday and it's going to take time to clean up.

The sad part is that things will have to get worse - I'm beginning to think Florida's right about the independents being not the most discerning voters but the ones too stupid to make up their minds - so people understand why we're in this mess before things get better.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crimso said...

"a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines"

What's NIH's budget for intramural research? Via Google from an NIH website: "Out of NIH's approximately $32.3 billion budget for FY 2010, about 10.2 percent was slated for intramural research."

While not all of that goes for drug development, ideally it all goes for research that ultimately improves human healthcare. Ideally.

lucid said...

With the government assuming full control of health care, there is less and less reason to become an excellent physician or health care provider.

You can already feel doctors re-positioning themselves in anticipation of the government',s new role in their lives.

It is going to get harder and harder to get good treatment.

Another form of death panel.

And now the government is going to get into the drug business?

holdfast said...

PatCA:

And this is the plan for healthcare/health insurance overall. Obamacare will fail by its design, it will of course all be the fault of the wicked insurance companies, and the Feds will HAVE to step in to save everything.

lucid said...

Saint Croix said:
"It just amazes me how the federal government uses every opportunity to get bigger and larger. You want new drugs? You could cut taxes to the pharmaceutical industry. That might work. You could enforce patent protections. That might work. You might speed up FDA approvals, so it doesn't take seven years to bring a drug to market. That might work. You could quit demonizing drug companies for trying to make profits. That might work. You could put constraints on drug litigation. We have more litigation against doctors, hospitals and drug companies than any other country in the world. That could work, too. You could free up venture capital. You could do away with all the stupid rules that keep companies from going public. You could repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. You could cut capital gains taxes.

There are all sorts of things you could do to bring more drugs into the world. But if you're opposed to capitalism and you're a socialist moron and you think a command-and-control economy has ever worked, ever, then there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do. Except scratch your head and wonder why new drugs aren't coming out like they used to."


Beautifully said and exactly right.

The government can't compete with the free-market. It can only facilitate a free market or gum up the works so that the market can't be productive and make the nation richer.

In this age of envy, government's role is almost always to stifle market efficiency and productivity.

Pogo said...

@Tyrone Slothrop:

I wrote an article once that argued precisely that point.

The inevitable adverse effects include:
*Long waits and reduced quality.
*Funding crises.
*New inequalities.
*Labor strikes and personnel shortages.
*Outdated facilities and medical equipment.
*Politicization and lost liberty.

lucid said...

Obama and the democrats don't realize that you can not re-distribute yourself out of inequality or poverty. Trying to do so just increases dependency and diminishes national productivity.

A nation's wealth is based on its ability to be productive.

You can only produce your way out of poverty or inequality by helping to make everyone as productive as possible.

That means promoting jobs and economic growth, not government programs and re-distribution.

ironrailsironweights said...

Hunting or any recreational shooting? They cost the public a lot of money and must be banned.

Hunting is actually quite safe.

Peter

Pogo said...

"Hunting is actually quite safe."

But people die every year in hunting accidents. And because you are excited about national health care, you will submit to the idea that even seemingly small risks are too much for the nation to spend money on.

Hagar said...

At that, Obamacare is going Nye Bevan one better, since Bevan just nationalized the medical facilities that mostly belonged to the local county and municipal governments in Britain anyway, but left room for a private system to exist alongside the NHS. The Pelosi-Reid bill effectively nationalizes the medical insurance system, so that the only private treatment that can continue to exist is "cash and carry."
This really is more restrictive than any European system I have heard of.

Ralph L said...

So, where does the $1 billion go? That's a huge payroll, or does it go to liability insurance?

Ralph L said...

But people die every year in hunting accidents
A quick death in the woods is a cheap one. It's serious injuries that drive up costs.

Ambulances may get a lot slower, as in France. Saves gas, too!

Original Mike said...

"The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines."

How does that go? Something like, "If it moves, tax it. It it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."

Liberals simply do not believe in capitalism. And if they are not stopped, they will kill us all. This is exactly was is so awful about ObamaCare.

Original Mike said...

the term "death panels" "persists... because it denotes, in a pithy way, the economic realities of scarcity inherent in nationalizing a rapidly developing, high-technology industry on which people’s lives depend in a rather immediate way."

This was, from the beginning, my understanding of the term "death panels".

Michael said...

So, if I have this right the government that impedes the introduction of every single new drug is concerned that we do not have enough new drugs. And it will solve the problem by becoming a drug company?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

A 911 operator gets a call. The guy says "I'm out hunting with my buddy. He had a heart attack. I think hes dead! What do I do?"

The operator says, "Well, first, let's make sure he's dead."

BANG! "Okay, what do I do next?"

Maguro said...

Yes, first they fuck up the market with insane amounts of reegulation and anti-business legislation, then then they declare market failure and proclaim the need for a government takeover. It's the same old script, over and over.

Robert Cook said...

What "impending government takeover of medicine?"

Anyone who says this is misinformed or misinforming.

The private health insurers are licking their chops anticipating the new customers who will be forced into their rapacious clutches, who will pay high prices for miserable coverage. This is what is wrong with Obamacare, so-called: it is a Republican plan, copied from Mitt Romney's plan implemented in Massachusetts, and is a "government takeover" only insofar as the government will compel citizens by force of law to buy private products from private providers.

If one were conspiratorially-minded--heh--one would almost think the private corporations were using the government as their muscle to force citizens to pay them (the health providers) "protection money," as it were.

Maguro said...

Cook, are you really writing satire? I mean, "rapacious clutches"...come on.

And of course big business and big government have a symbiotic relationship. Duh. Look up "regulatory capture" in the dictionary the next time you're hanging out at one of your commie bookstores.

The more the government controls the market, the more that favors those with the means to influence the government. More government absolutely favors big business, er, I mean rapacious oligarchs.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Robert Cook

You must be one of those "the glass is half full" guys. The private insurance companies will be flooded with new clients that they must accept because the federal government says they must. The same federal government will be capping the rates the insurance company may charge. Are you are able to perceive through the mists that are your intellect how this will pan out? If not, I will tell you. The private companies will go out of business leaving the field clear for the single payer system Obama has explicitly endorsed. When there is no competition, the consumer always gets screwed.

David said...

"The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines."

What a fucking joke!

I am kept alive by a drug called Gleevec, developed by Novartis, through the efforts of scores of researchers in the United States and Europe. No government would have created this drug, and in particular no government would have been able to mount the international cooperation required. (Novartis is a Swiss company.)

The Obamites really do think that the government can do this better. Well, it can't. And it won't. The inevitable result of this will be to further impede and disincent the private companies from drug development.

Watch what they do, not what they say. It won't take long to figure out that nothing is going to change.

Methadras said...

Life and death — it's economics, and the government is here to help.

So Erkle goes out of his way to stifle an entire industry from developing new medicines by over-regulating them via ErkleCare, so they just slow down their investigations and investments into pharma overall and then seeing a problem, Erkle thinks if government gets into the Big Pharma business they will provide develop and provide said life saving meds?

He's more diabolical than I gave him credit for. So now instead of being single payer, he will become single provider too? So is Erkle going to develop medicines at a profit or will he get a waiver from FDA if it costs to much?

woof said...

From Wikipedia:

Imatinib was developed in the late 1990s by biochemist Nicholas Lydon, a former researcher for Novartis, and oncologist Brian Druker of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Other major contributions to imatinib development were made by Carlo Gambacorti-Passerini, a physician scientist at University of Milano Bicocca, Italy, John Goldman at Hammersmith Hospital in London, UK, and later on by Charles Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[1] who led the clinical trials confirming its efficacy in CML.[2]

chickelit said...

"Death Panels" will morph into "Doeth Panels" soon enough.

Doeth this and doeth that--because we say so.

Bruce Hayden said...

How does that go? Something like, "If it moves, tax it. It it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."

The problem here is that we really have several different views of socialism in, and I suspect that there is some dispute within the Administration and the Democratic party right now about which one should prevail. This, in short, is a repeat of the discussions that turned so bloody between socialists in the 1930s, culminating in WWII.

I will admit to seeing some Soviet style socialism here. But for a lot of them, esp. in the Administration, I would argue that you are also seeing a lot of the Fascist brand of socialism showing through.

This is the crony capitalism that this Administration, in particular, seems so enamored with. Remember, supposedly, the only time that the Italians ever were able to get their trains to work on time was under Mussolini.

There is some allure here for those who think that they are the best and the brightest, through their elite education (that some, at least, got as a result of a racial spoils system called Affirmative Action). And, top-down management is so much more efficient than that messy market.

What Fascism really brought to the table was that crony-capitalism. And, we are seeing some of that. There is invariably a carrot and a stick involved. This is the carrot. We saw the stick back during the ObamaCare discussions. The goal is to whip-saw the reluctant businesses into joining the cabal running the government. The big businesses get bigger, their managements thrive, and the people in the government have a way to make a lot more money than they could if they stayed in the government, whether through bribes of one type or another, or revolving door employment.

I think that the amount of wealth being divvied up among the different leftist constituencies is why we aren't yet seeing the warfare between different strands of socialism that we saw in Europe back then. Every one of them is up at the trough, and getting their share right now looting the American economy - the greens, the communists, the fascists, the investment bankers, the unions, the lawyers, Blacks, and, now, maybe the biggest drug companies. The problem is that the party is coming up to midnight, and it isn't clear who is going to have a date when the music stops.

Bruce Hayden said...

So Erkle goes out of his way to stifle an entire industry from developing new medicines by over-regulating them via ErkleCare, so they just slow down their investigations and investments into pharma overall and then seeing a problem, Erkle thinks if government gets into the Big Pharma business they will provide develop and provide said life saving meds?

One additional problem there is determining what drugs will be developed. Right now, much of the emphasis is on drugs that will make money, which mostly translates into drugs that will affect a lot of people positively. But when you get the government involved, esp. a government like this, with a strong fascist socialism bent, politics will inevitably get involved in the decisions.

And that sort of crony capitalism means a couple of things. First, the way to get funded under that sort of system is more political than economic. Buying politicians is more useful than actual research. And the drugs pursued will most often not be the most needed, but the ones needed by the best connected politically.

Big Mike said...

If the Times article is accurate -- and these days that's a big "if" -- then the obvious next question is how the "billion-dollar government drug development center" will achieve its goals. Will the drugs it develops still have to pass through the FDA approval cycle? And Bruce Hayden asks the correct question -- how will the areas for research be chosen? Will the areas be prioritized according to the prevalence and seriousness of the disease, or according to political winds?

And will this new center degenerate into hackery over time, the way that once promising agencies like the EPA have done?

The administration might do better by reexamining the tortuous pathways to FDA acceptance and ask whether that process can be improved. Then not only will they save the several dollars on the center (does anyone think this administration will stop at only one billion?) but maybe they can save salaries of FDA officials who do tasks that amount shuffling paper without adding value to the process.

Hagar said...

I think Bruce Hayden is onto something when you look at the longstanding Wall Street-Treasury relationships, General Motors, and now General Electric, etc.
This does bode well.

Hagar said...

Oops!
This does not bode well.

hawkeyedjb said...

Coming soon - and for the same reasons: "The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new oil coming out of the petroleum industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government oil exploration program..."

Bruce Hayden said...

I think Bruce Hayden is onto something when you look at the longstanding Wall Street-Treasury relationships, General Motors, and now General Electric, etc.

There has always been some of this. I am reminded of all the Kennedy stuff, and that Joe Kennedy was able to from bootlegger to chairman of the securities and exchange commission, and thence on to being the ambassador to the Court of Saint James (i.e. to the U.K.) within a fairly short time, and thence putting his son in the WH.

But the problem has gotten worse. A lot worse. The big city machine politicians have bankrupted their cities, and now now their states. Next is the federal government. So, we will no longer be able to just move out of Chicago, or now Ill., to avoid the stench.

This is to point out that this trend has been with the Democrats since at least the 1930s. (And, likely why Joe Kennedy was a Nazi-phile until they invaded the USSR (and where the break between those two branches of the left became obvious)).

What is scary is that we are in the midst of the biggest recession since the time of FDR (who gave Kennedy those posts), and very much of the blame goes straight to the government and the politicians that were still calling the shots as the 111th Congress drew towards adjournment. How absurd is it that Frank and Dodd, the primary architects of the lending environment that caused the meltdown, orchestrated the industry's overhaul, in a way that ultimately will greatly harm the smaller players, and mostly exempts the biggest ones, because their people were the ones revolving through the top of the financial side of the government, and whose campaign help kept so many in Congress in office?

A couple of years ago, I would have called myself paranoid, seeing all these connections. But not any more. They just got so much more blatant during the 111th Congress and the first two years of Obama in their cynical looting of the federal till and manipulation of the laws of the land to their corporate advantage. And, they did it because much of Congress, and many in the Administration, were in on the heist.

The Musket said...

The government wants control of drugs -- it's one more way to control people. It's part of the plan to control everything.

It also gives them control over drugs - that is to say, your health -- if any or all parts of Obamacare are repealed or defunded. It's simply another layer of protection of their control.

I see the rise of black market alternative medicine.

FloridaSteve said...

"Whether the government can succeed where private industry has failed is uncertain, officials acknowledge, but they say doing nothing is not an option."

No. it's not uncertain. They can NOT. And what they are doing iw worse than noting. This country is going MAD!!!

LilyBart said...

Because the government did such a good job with "Cash for Clunkers", they're ready to move on to Drug development

AST said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AST said...

If they really wanted to do what they say, they'd cut a lot of the red tape from the FDA.

"Doing nothing is not an option." That seems to be one of Obama's favorite phrases, and one of the most misleading, because doing something harmful was the option he chose for the economy. As a result of the uncertainty he created for businesses, a lot of them are doing nothing, waiting to see what the tax and regulatory climate will be when his grand scheme goes into full effect.

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