The Effect of Patents on Drug Prices

The NYT has a good article on how patents enable drug companies to keep prices high – far higher than in other countries. For example, with the patent for the older oral contraceptive Loestrin 24Fe about to expire, the company Warner Chilcott stopped making the pill this year and introduced a chewable version — with […]

Sick Rantorum

Rick Santorum has spoken out against contraception, calling it “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” What does he have against pleasure? The injunction against contraception is nowhere in the bible; the Catholic church came up with it by inference.

Health Care Premiums

I see nothing in the current health care proposals that limit the premiums insurance companies can charge.  Yes, they may be subject to premium ratios, but their plaint will be that to cover the burden of insuring everyone, all premiums must rise.  Remember, too, paying these increased premiums will be mandatory. Only a public option […]

When Socialism works

In Slate, The Triumph of Socialized Medicine comments on a Washington Monthly report that VA hospitals provided better quality of care than fee-for-service Medicare. Such news must be anathema to free-market ideologues, but the reasons given make sense; for instance, that long-term strategies pay off for the VA but not for private organisations whose patients […]

Drug costs and medical research

The pharmaceutical industry claims that the high cost of drugs in America is necessary to support the costs of research, but a more likely cause of those costs is in the NYTimes article which says “[t]he drug industry has long spent billions of dollars annually – far more than it spends on research – trying […]