Thoughts on economics and liberty

The modus operandi of drug companies: blackmail/ bribe governments

Two extracts from Virapen's book that illustrate how (some) big drug companies bribe/blackmail governments.

These extracts show that the government is the MAIN problem. A government should not meddle with the market, and focus purely on retributive justice (harm caused).

It is IMPROPER for a government to "approve" or "licence" drugs, or buy them on behalf of the public. Such activities are certain to become contaminated by extreme corruption.

And such government regulatory or procurement activities do not support medical science and innovation.

There should be a totally free market for drugs (just like food) where laws are clear about just one thing: If you harm someone, drug supplier, you are history. The law should prescribe the DEATH penalty for directors of companies whose drugs cause deaths among patients at a rate greater than that published by the drug company (this will force them to publish true data on side effects).

Accountability should be through the market and justice system, not through prior "approvals" by FDA, etc. Through such activity the government becomes co-liable for the crimes of drug companies, and guess what: the government will never create a law which imposes a death penalty on its health regulator for a botched up (possibly corrupt) drug "approval". 

a) Threatening to withdraw investment

The pharmaceutical industry’s lobby is extremely powerful. It constantly lobbies politicians and the judiciary and even blackmails governments by threatening to withdraw investments or to close down sites, thus, creating unemployment in a country. Before you know it, the government backs down and plays the game, just as the industry stipulates. 

b) Getting governments to buy their drugs

The monetary magnitude of this insanity is reaching dizzying heights. The turnover from Zyprexa® : $30 billion. $4.2 billion last year, alone. Only in the United States. Just one single drug. For schizophrenia. Are there really that many schizophrenics? Are they being forced to eat Zyprexa® just like bread? Or where do these figures come from? Obviously, not from regular sales. But from off-label sales. Zyprexa® is sixth on the list of the most sold drugs.

“In the United States, 70 percent of Zyprexa® sales are to government agencies (for health programs for the socially weak; note of the author), mostly to Medicaid. If just a handful of large states were to limit Zyprexa® sales, Lilly’s profit and share price would be likely to suffer significantly, analysts say.”

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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