Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline comments on the idea floating around of having pharmaceutical companies run as a public utility:
Me, I find it disgusting. And I don't even know which part of the idea I find most revolting. Is it the thought of working for a pharmaceutical version of the Post Office, with what would surely be a dynamic risk-taking culture? Is it the thought of waiting. . .waiting. . .while higher and higher bureaucratic commissions and review boards grind slowly on to tell us what we should work on next?

Or is it just that the idea is so unworkable that I feel pity for a person who advocates it? Look, electricity and water are utilities. Rail service can be treated as one (and doesn't Amtrak do a fine job at it?) But these are mature industries whose task is to deliver steady amounts of known goods. The drug industry doesn't fit any of those criteria.
What he said, although I would debate Amtrak being an example of a fine public utility. I think worldwide we've demonstrated that the government doesn't do a good job getting mucked up in health care. It's a chilling thought to think of the government deciding which compounds to develop, which disease states to address, and lobbyists swaying the vote of their congress person one way or the other. Guh.

"We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex -- but Congress can." - Cullen Hightower

UPDATE: Conversely, I'd wouldn't mind finding a non-cluttered way for the government to deal with this:

No comments: