Tag: Drugs

Orwellian Language: Peace Abroad; War at Home »

Governments often misuse language to build emotional and patriotic support for their policies. This Orwellian use of language is clearly evident in the way that US government policy uses the words “war” and “peace.” Everyone is well aware of the US military invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initiated during the Bush administration and continued...
Read More »

The War on Poverty and the War on Drugs »

As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference...
Read More »

How to Pay for the Next Sovaldi? »

Imagine a pill that could cure cancer with one course of therapy or reverse an inherited, deadly disease. If it cost $1 million, could you access it? This was the question asked at a recent panel discussion held by the American Enterprise Institute. The panel discussed a couple of new proposals to finance new...
Read More »

Gun Violence Is a Consequence of War »

My hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, has recently shown an increased concern about gun violence. Not only are Tallahasseans shooting each other, so far in 2014 the Tallahassee Police have shot four people, killing two. A related concern is that people seem to have little trust in the police. The concern has been manifested in...
Read More »

“Prize-Grants” or Patents for Pharmaceutical Innovation? »

Over at the American Enterprise Institute’s online magazine, Arnold Kling has proposed “prize-grants” in favor of patents for pharmaceutical research. Kling dislikes patents: Patents have always been a problematic way to promote innovation. They raise prices of products far above marginal cost. They impose legal costs involved in obtaining, attacking, and defending patents. They...
Read More »

Do Patients Have a “Right to Try” New Medicines Before the FDA Approves Them? »

Earlier this month, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper signed the nation’s first “right to try” law. The law allows a patient suffering from a disease, for which no medicine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to try an experimental new medicine before the agency approves it. The law allows, but does...
Read More »

Using Marketable Vouchers to Speed Up Drug Approvals »

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new drug for leishmaniasis, an extremely rare disease which is spread by sand flies in poor countries. Why would a for-profit company invest in inventing a drug for which there is no way to make a profit? The FDA offers a prize to any firm that...
Read More »

Big Pharma, Trial Lawyers, and Harry Reid Kill Patent Reform »

Now that the smoke has cleared after the collapse of efforts to push patent litigation reform legislation through Congress, pundits are busy discussing just what happened. The President and members of both parties agreed that some reform was necessary. Reform legislation seemed to be a sure thing. Sources close to the negotiations on reform indicate...
Read More »

The FDA’s Productivity and Consistency Have Collapsed in a Decade »

Joseph A. DiMasi, Christopher-Paul Milne, and Alex Tabarrok have written a devastating Report Card demonstrating how poorly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does its business. The FDA has a government-granted monopoly on deciding the safety and efficacy of new medicines. Nobody in America is allowed to choose to take a medicine not approved...
Read More »

Wars on Everything »

This year marks half a century since Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. The rhetoric of war harkened back to Franklin Roosevelt’s declaration of war against the Great Depression, in which he demanded all the executive power the president would have against a foreign foe. Johnson’s Great Society inaugurated many billions of dollars...
Read More »