A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Government Increasing the Cost of Medicine Again

The only thing government is really good at is fucking over the citizens under its control. Take for example the health care industry. In the United States health care costs are through the roof and it’s thanks to government intervention. I’ve come across yet another example of government interference in the health care market causing an increase in costs:

But recently, KV Pharmaceutical of suburban St.Louis won government approval to exclusively sell the drug, known as Makena (Mah-KEE’-Nah). The March of Dimes and many obstetricians supported that because it means quality will be more consistent and it will be easier to get.

The result? Not surprisingly the cost of Makena went from $10.00 to $1,500.00. I know little about the drug but apparently it requires multiple injections (roughly 20 since the article says it will cost $30,000 with the new pricing scheme). That means the total cost will go from roughly $200.00 to $30,000.00 thanks to the government granting a monopoly on the medication to a single company.

Monopolies are not naturally occurring things. In almost every care of a monopoly cropping up it has been due to government regulations either outright granting the monopoly or putting restrictions on the market in such a way to grant a defacto monopoly (such as expensive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials keeping new companies out of the pharmaceuticals industry). Even though government claims they are needed to protect us from monopolies the reality is monopoly protection is yet another example of a government created problem that the government claims they didn’t make but are needed to fix.

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Written by Christopher Burg

March 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I heard about this on the radio on Wednesday and was infuriated! Why is our government so retarded as to think that a company will not raise prices when given a monopoly? How would restricting manufacture to only one company make it easier to obtain?

    If consistency is what they seek, why not instead crack down on pharmaceutical companies manufacturing low quality versions of the drug? Thanks to the actions of our government and KV Pharmaceutical, many women will now no longer be able to afford these injections, and as a result more babies will be born prematurely and die.

    From the sounds of it, this will also impact insurance premiums, as the insurance companies will be paying a large portion of the extra cost, which will make health insurance even less affordable.

    As for KV Pharmaceutical’s attempt to justify the higher cost:

    “The cost is justified to avoid the mental and physical disabilities that can come with very premature births, said KV Pharmaceutical chief executive Gregory J. Divis Jr. The cost of care for a preemie is estimated at $51,000 in the first year alone.”

    What they are actually saying:

    ‘It is ok for us to increase the price of this important drug to a price that is not affordable to low income women, and cost insurance companies and government programs millions of dollars, because it is still less than the cost of having a preemie.”

    Next thing you know, they’ll raise the price to a cost equal to that of having a preemie, and justify it by saying:

    “Yes, it costs the same as having a preemie. But wouldn’t you rather pay that amount and save yourself the work of caring for a preemie and give your child a better quality of life?”

    Victoria

    March 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    • “Why is our government so retarded”

      In all fairness it’s not just our government but every government.

      “If consistency is what they seek, why not instead crack down on pharmaceutical companies manufacturing low quality versions of the drug?”

      Because there were no consistency problems and thus no justification to crack down. The biggest problem is patients have been happy with the current situation. They get the medicine they need at an affordable price, free-market in action.

      I’m sure KV Pharmaceuticals had some doctors on the payroll to advocate to our government for monopoly control over the drug. Our government, being in bed with large pharmaceuticals, were more than happy to oblige and grant monopoly control over production of the drug.

      After all who really cares about the poor? They can’t contribute campaign contributes.

      Christopher Burg

      March 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm


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