Tag: Drugs

Obama Appointee Supports Individual Rights »

I’ve been critical of the Obama administration in the past, so it’s nice to find something positive to say. This article says that President Obama’s new acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, “supports decriminalizing cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, ecstasy and all dangerous drugs, including marijuana.” It’s nice to see...
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Berkeley’s Free Medical Marijuana Plan Shows Economic Thinking Has Gone to Pot »

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, making it the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Its passage, however, did not trump federal law, under which cannabis remains illegal as per the Controlled Substance Act. Due to this illegality on the federal level, private insurance companies, as well as state programs like Medi-Cal, do not...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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“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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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