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Will India be the Uber of the Pharmaceutical Industry?

June 30, 2014 3 comments

from Dean Baker

Many self-styled libertarians have been celebrating the rise of Uber. Their story is that Uber is a dynamic start-up that has managed to disrupt the moribund cab industry. The company now has a market capitalization of $17 billion.

While Uber’s market value probably depends mostly on its ability to evade the regulations that are imposed on its competitors, the company has succeeded in transforming the industry. At the least we are likely to see a modernized regulatory structure that doesn’t saddle cabs with needless regulations and fees.

Unfortunately, the taxi industry is not the only sector of the U.S. economy that can use modernization. The pharmaceutical industry makes the taxi industry look like cutting edge social media. The government imposed barriers to entry in the pharmaceutical industry don’t just raise prices by 20 or 30 percent, as may be the case with taxi fares, they raise prices by a factor or ten, twenty, or even one hundred (that would be 10,000 percent).  Read more…

Categories: health

11th out of 11

June 27, 2014 1 comment

from David Ruccio

Davis_Mirror_2014_ES1_for_web

The U.S. healthcare system ranks dead last out of 11 countries studied by the Commonwealth Fund [ht: ja]. Read more…

Categories: Decline of the USA, health

The Supercommittee should go really big and turn against The One Percent

November 23, 2011 4 comments

from Dean Baker

It looks the supercommittee is about to throw in the towel. Since the potential deals that had been discussed would have meant large cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other programs that the 99 percent depend upon, we should all be thankful.

In the world of the 1 percent that the supercommittee types inhabit, the big villains in the U.S. economy are not the rich who are pulling down an ever-larger share of national income, but rather the country’s older workers.  Read more…

“Can Pharma Thrive With a Plutonomy Strategy?”

September 29, 2011 1 comment

from Edward Fullbrook

In May of this year The Economist had a an article http://www.economist.com/node/18743951 describing how in the United States plutonomy was causing

a shift in how big drug firms do business. For years they have relied on blockbusters that treat many people. Now they are investing in more personalised medicine: biotech drugs that treat small groups of patients more effectively.

It explained how

new cancer drugs offer small benefits at an exorbitant price. Provenge costs $93,000 for a course of treatment and extends life by an average of four months. Yervoy costs $120,000 for three-and-a-half months.

Obviously only the ultra-rich will genrally be able to afford them.

This week members of the US medical profession have reacted. Read more…

Categories: health, Plutonomy

The efficiency of the US health-care system relative to those of other wealthy countries

September 27, 2011 5 comments

from John Schmitt

Lane Kenworthy has posted two extremely helpful graphs that try to gauge the efficiency of the US health-care system relative to those of other wealthy countries. The first shows life expectancy in each country, in 2007, against per-capita health expenditures in the same year. Read more…

Categories: health
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