Friday, August 14, 2009

Who is smoking what?

From the Wall St Journal editorial page:
"As a political strategist, Big Pharma lobbyist Billy Tauzin is starting to look less like Dr. Faustus and more like Jack, trading away his industry for magic beans.
Last week Mr. Tauzin ostentatiously blabbed to the media that his industry's deal to help fund ObamaCare with $80 billion in prescription drug discounts was really protection money. In particular he bragged that he had secured promises from the White House that President Obama would fend off Congressional Democrats who want to "negotiate" drug prices, which in practice means price controls. "
First off, Billy Tauzin is smoking something if he thinks ObamaCare won't insist on lower drug prices, like CanadaCare does in Canada. Once the US has one big healthcare bureaucracy doing all the contracting, the bureaucrats will demand lower prices, and since they will be the only game in town, the drug companies will have no choice. Why the suits running the drug companies haven't figured this out I'll never know. I guess the drug companies are all run by myopic bean counters.
Second off, Obama is smoking something if he thinks a drug company offer of price discounts means anything. "List" prices for drugs are about 20 times the "street" price. Walmart fills my prescriptions for $48 for a three months supply. Medicare Advantage tells me the same drugs have an average sales price of $1023. Translation, a "discount" off a sky high and wholly fictitious "list" price doesn't mean a thing.
Anyhow Big Pharma is still planning to spend $150 million in advertising supporting ObamaCare. Talk about a death wish.

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