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From: (Steve Harris
Newsgroups: talk.politics.medicine,misc.consumers,,,
Subject: Re: U.S. Prescription Drug System Under Attack
Date: 18 Oct 2003 20:08:42 -0700
Message-ID: <>

"Rick" <> wrote in message

> Just so you know, this propaganda is coming from the FDA and
> pharmaceutical industry cartel, who are currently fighting a proposal
> to ease import restrictions of foreign (primarily Canadian)
> medications into the U.S.
> Rick
> "joe" <> wrote in message
> >
> > U.S. Prescription Drug System Under Attack
> >
> > By Gilbert M. Gaul and Mary Pat Flaherty
> > Washington Post Staff Writers
> > Sunday, October 19, 2003; Page A01
> >
> > First of Five Parts


No, never blame conspiracy where stupidity, ignorance, or sloth will
serve to explain equally well. IOW, please note that it is rare that
conspiracists and drug companies are anywhere near as competent as
journalists are dumb, uneducated, and lazy.

In the case of divered drugs, the facts are so simple that even a
journalist should have been able to absorb them. Pharmaceutical
companies, in trying to make every segment of their markets pay the
maximum, sometimes charge some parties up to 5 times more for the same
pill as they do other parties. And then they are shocked, simply
shocked, to find that the parties interact. And that the $1 pills are
being diverted through a long supply chain which divvys up the extra
$4  dollars to supply pills to the end user for less money than if
he'd dealt directly with the maker for the higher price. Surprise.
This is called a "market."  The process which causes diversion of
product from places where it is worth less to places where it is worth
more, is called "economics."  A subject held in deep suspicion by
people who write for the Washington Post, no doubt, but that's no

Now, no doubt the drug companies would like taxpayers to pay federal
marshals to make sure that every single dose of $1 a pill drug goes to
its intended user, and never manages to go through middlemen to the
guys who otherwise are being asked to pay $5 a pill for it. Alas,
however, this is hard enough to do even for controlled substances (ie,
addictive drugs). You can't very well ask the taxpayer to stamp out a
ridiculous, topheavy, and artificially created black market for
Lipitor. Especially when it's often the taxpayer getting screwed for
the Lipitor. If the drug company wants to make sure that every last
dose of lowballed Lipitor goes to the right mouth, it had better hire
its own private security force to make sure that happens. Because I'm
not interested.

There is also here a second and completely different issue, although
you wouldn't guess that it is a different issue from this article.
Here it is: drug counterfeiting. Our intrepid journalists would not be
surprised to find that there's a certain incentive for people to
counterfeit $100 bills, and that a certain amount of this naturally
happens. But they are shocked, simply shocked, to find it happens also
with $100 bottles of medication. However, this doesn't prevent them
from finding somebody to blame: Why, it must be the very same people
who sell the $1 pills to the people who otherwise would pay $5 for
them!  Has to be. You see, all of these people are selling things to
pharmacies (get it?), and thus they all must be the same guys. There
exist these small "midddlemen", which means they are doing business
and making a large profit, which means that somehow some kind of nasty
--- *capitalism* -- is involved.  And thus, the middlemen have to be
the counterfeiters, too. You see the logic? Capitalism-- bad.
Completely regulated large business monopoly and government-- good. If
there is a criminal activity going on, it must be the capitalists.
The small capitalists, of course. Not big businesses like the pharm
companies and the Washington Post, you understand.

So that's all there is to it. It's not really necessary for pharm
companies to have reporters in their pockets, though it does help that
reporters are lazy and will reprint nearly any info provided for them
by drug companies on "diversion problems." But over and above that,
reporters naturally have a lot of distrust for anybody who works for
themselves. So it's only necessary to turn them loose and you will get
stories like this.  And when reporters find a problem, they naturally
expect government to fix it by passing more laws. The idea that it
might be fixed by enforcing the laws already on the books does not
occur to journalists. That's a problem for the taxpayer, not the


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