Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'll bet Adam Smith knew the answer to this problem

15 Comments:

Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Come on, POR-care just needs a few tweaks and another few hundred pages of regulations and everything will be fine!

November 27, 2012 8:03 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Or maybe not.

Tried to buy a contraceptive sponge lately?

November 28, 2012 10:30 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Isn't this one of those "order of magnitude more" places where more regulation is needed? Why hasn't the massive set of regulations that is POR-care solved this problem?

November 28, 2012 10:36 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

It's too bad their isn't a parallel universe where there is a completely free market (no FDA or NIH even) for pharmaceuticals. It would be interesting to see what drugs would've been developed, their prices, their efficacy, how many insurance plans would cover them, etc.

Even the free market can't deliver immortality, perfect or even excellent health, or hugely extended lifespans to everybody and I guess that could be considered a market failure since those things are in demand.

So given that the free market cannot deliver those things, can the government? I'd say certainly not, but since we have a "market failure" and what I consider to be a gullible and naive public, apparently the government is gonna try. Hopefully, it won't screw things up too badly.

November 28, 2012 11:01 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

One could do a bit of that by comparing the EU vs. the USA in pharmaceuticals.

November 28, 2012 12:12 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

You might not want to go there, Guy.

Virtually all of the most important health breakthroughs since 1945 came from the National Health.

November 28, 2012 4:17 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Why not? I like to be evidence based, rather than simply take things on faith. I presume you'll get all testy again when I don't take your claims on pure faith. I suppose I could ask what proportion "virtually all" is - 1 in 10? 1 in 20? - but it seems rather pointless, as I am sure it will be whatever proportion can be shown to have any National Health [Service?] involvement.

November 28, 2012 7:07 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

It's too bad their isn't a parallel universe where there is a completely free market ...

There is ... veterinary medicine.

No drug shortages there, and identical procedures are 1/6th the cost.

November 29, 2012 12:18 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

We could start with the structure of DNA and go on to immunology, which together account for, I suggest, at least half of all medical-surgical advances since '45.

November 29, 2012 12:24 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Harry, that's as may (or may not) be, but AOG's point was about pharmaceuticals.

November 29, 2012 1:07 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Skipper;

That was too easy a shot for me to take :-). But my real point here is Mr. Eagar's standard "anecdote as data" approach. He finds examples and considers them proof without context. Note how he carefully avoiding answering my actual question, "what proportion is 'virtually all'?".

November 29, 2012 1:35 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

You don't think pharmaceuticals have been affected by the discovery of the immune system?

How about transplants?

I was also puzzled by Skipper's swipe against Europe. Most of the big pharma businesses are based there.

Europe continues to innovate despite socialism.

November 30, 2012 9:46 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

You don't think pharmaceuticals have been affected by the discovery of the immune system?

How about transplants?

I was also puzzled by Skipper's swipe against Europe. Most of the big pharma businesses are based there.

Europe continues to innovate despite socialism.

November 30, 2012 9:47 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Gosh, Mr. Eagar, objective criteria really are anathema to you, aren't they? I shouldn't be surprised, that's the normal attitude of a faith based approach.

P.S. I await your explanation that even as slaves, people were still productive, so it's silly to suggest a free market for labor is better or more economically productive.

November 30, 2012 10:15 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I was also puzzled by Skipper's swipe against Europe. Most of the big pharma businesses are based there.

Which, in a globalized economy, doesn't mean a heck of a lot. The more meaningful question is how much free-riding Europe does on the U.S. pharmaceutical market.

Europe continues to innovate despite socialism.

Certainly not because of it.

[Hey Skipper:] No drug shortages [in veterinary medicine], and identical procedures are 1/6th the cost.

Earlier this year, I needed an MRI on my left knee. $1800 for a half-hour in the machine. (You can rent a decent corporate jet, with fuel and pilots, for that.)

A month or so later, I was talking to one of my neighbors. Their dog elderly dog suddenly got sick; concerned it might be cancer, they got the dog an MRI.

$300.

Identical machine and procedure. One-sixth the cost.

I'll bet Adam Smith could tell you why.

December 01, 2012 11:46 AM  

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