Re: Lobby group wants insulin inquiry

Posted by Dale on Feb 10, 2002 at 10:41

Re: Lobby group wants insulin inquiry (bobbapink)

20 years ago we got all excited about "orphan drugs" (those with too small a population to support the cost of production). This just seems a rehash. I can sympathize and I could even support a limited government subsidy. But where do you draw the line? I once paid (or the insurance did) $350 for a tetanus shot. That was just for the vaccine and that was back in the days when I thought $60 a week was a very good salary. With inflation that would be about $2,500 in todayís money for a simple tetanus shot. What if it really had been life threatening and I didnít have insurance or the money? A little government help would be the compassionate thing to do. So here we have 250 people with a problem. Letís assume $10,000/person/year would solve the problem. $2.5M might not be a bad price to pay. But if it is $1M/person/year and there were 10,000 people with the problem? That is where the private companies should be interested.

This gets into political philosophy. Liberals donít have a clue what capitalism is or can do so they say spend any amount to save a single life. Independents (those without firm beliefs) waffle and canít decide on what to do. One day they want to spend the money and the next they donít. They tend to settle on spend the money if it benefits me or my friends and donít otherwise. Conservatives want to let the market decide. They know that when there is money to be made, any problem can get fixed by the private market. Unfortunately it sometimes takes a while and some people die before they figure out how to make money from the situation. All three make bad government decisions.

But enough political philosophy. This is a science forum. If there really is a chemical difference in the synthetic insulin, why canít we easily fix that? If there isnít any difference, then why canít we just tell these people to get a life?

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