Proof government cares nothing for your life

By Mark Luedtke

 

You may not have heard about the EpiPen price crisis, but anybody whose life depends on EpiPens has. The price of a two-pack of EpiPens has skyrocketed to $600 from $100 in 2010. The pen delivers adrenaline, which can relax muscles and free airways constricted by a severe allergic reaction, potentially saving the life of the recipient. In the same time frame, the price of big screen TVs, computers, and cellphones has plummeted. The reason for the difference is government.

Mises Institute Fellow Jonathan Newman blames the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “The economist looks for competitors in cases like this. A firm cannot just willy-nilly raise their prices without a competing firm leaping in to give consumers what they want at a lower price,” he writes. “As it turns out, Mylan has a great friend who keeps would-be competitors out of the market, or at least makes it so difficult for them that they eventually go out of business. That friend is the FDA.”

This is a reminder that government doesn’t combat monopolies. Government creates monopolies. Monopolies can’t exist in a free market. Whenever a producer begins to make outsized profits in a free market, competitors jump into the market to win a share of those profits. The subsequent competition drives down prices and profits until profits fall to levels comparable with other products. At that point, competitors are no longer enticed into the market.

Because of unrestricted competition, nobody can get filthy rich in a free market. Rulers hate that. They implement coercive government and crony socialism to make themselves filthy rich without having to do the hard work of continually staying ahead of competitors.

Newman explains government utilizes many tools for creating monopolies, driving up prices and making rulers filthy rich. He continues, “With the FDA, patents, and cozy insurance relationships, Mylan has been able to steadily increase the price of EpiPens without significant market repercussions. Though, the current backlash may push many patients and doctors to look for alternatives. The only problem is that alternatives are few and far between because of government interventions.”

Alternatives exist, but government doesn’t allow Americans access to them – as if adults were children and rulers their parents. Time reports, “Even though an EpiPen could save a patient’s life, some allergy sufferers are forgoing them because they are just too expensive. Others are hanging onto expired EpiPens and crossing their fingers, hoping that they work in the event of an emergency. … Others are importing EpiPens for under $100 from Canada and overseas websites—an act that the FDA says is technically illegal and potentially dangerous.”

It ridiculously claims buying online is dangerous, as if Canadians and others are too stupid to produce safe products. In reality, as with other drugs, the FDA makes it illegal to buy from other countries to enrich its Big Pharma cronies.

We recently learned taxpayers funded EpiPen research.

The FDA is a scam. It doesn’t make Americans safer or healthier. Right now it’s blocking 4,000 generic drugs from patients, making them buy expensive, Big Pharma-branded drugs instead.

FDA endangers us to enrich rulers. Producers in a free, competitive market produce safe products because to do otherwise would bankrupt them. By restricting competition and liability, government enables production of expensive, unsafe products like so many medicines on the market today.

A microcosm of the conflict between government-protected super-profits and patients regarding EpiPen has erupted in the Senate. “One Democratic senator whose daughter has allergies has called for action and another Democratic senator’s daughter is CEO of the company responsible for the price hike,” CNN reports. “[Sen. Amy] Klobuchar also urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan has used incentives and exclusionary contracts to deny an alternative product to hit the market.

“She said the concern around EpiPens is not unique to this drug.

“‘Unfortunately, the story of EpiPen is not unique. Time and again, we see reports of a pharmaceutical company buying a prescription drug product and then raising the price dramatically,’ she wrote.”

While I sympathize with Klobuchar because her daughter depends on EpiPen, her blame of the company and call for government investigation and more regulation are misguided. As she points out, the problem is systemic. Government isn’t the solution to the problem of outrageously high drug prices. Government is the problem. The solution is to abolish the FDA and all government interventions in the drug market so robust competition can make all medicines cheaper and safer.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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