I get a lot of messages weekly from folks on Twitter who are forced to use less expensive (and they claim less effective) drugs because they “just” make average salaries. I have no doubt it happens frequently.
Let’s face it, Big Pharma makes an obscene amount of money.
And this from a capitalist and entrepreneur. But I hate the investor class that just makes money off money and the creativity and hard work of others. Shareholders in Big Pharma are primarily from the investor class. You have problems, my peers develop effective treatments, and then some bozo who inherited $100M from his hard-working grandparents makes a ton of money by keeping the prices indefensibly high.
How do I reconcile my capitalism with the fact that Big Pharma needs to be castrated.
I’m fine with letting Big Pharma charge whatever it wants.
BUT ONLY IF
- The product developed is in no way dependent upon research funded by a government or a foundation for that drug or a precursor.
- The costs of developing the drug or its precursors have not been recorded as tax deductible expenses.
If either of the above two conditions are true (the taxpayers paid for the research, the taxpayers paid more taxes because Big Pharma did not really assume 100% of the financial risk in drug development), then I propose that 75% of the profits from Big Pharma should be returned to the governments who “paid for the R&D” and that those monies should be distributed to those who cannot afford the best possible drug treatments.
My guess is that Big Pharma should be splitting the profits on just about all (maybe there is one that wasn’t dependent upon taxpayer support) of its modern products.
The current system of governments (primarily the US and EU) subsidizing Big Pharma with basic research grants and tax deductible expenses for turning the basic research paid for by government into cash cows for the investor class is extremely unfair. This is another case where the “regular folks” are subsidizing the investor class directly and that is just plain obscene.
Get out the shears.
[The Big Pharma model of using government supported basic research to magically create huge amounts of wealth is such a pervasive one that now most of the most prestigious universities want their medical schools to use the same model. I would rather see “excessive profits” go to support educational institutions than under-taxed individuals so I would reluctantly support the Medical School model if there is insufficient will within the US Congress to fix the situation. Disclosure: At various times I have owned shares in many of the Big Pharma companies.]