Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Bitter Pill: Trump the Weathervane and Big Pharma

This is hilarious:  Trump partly campaigned on cutting drug prices:

Donald Trump, who was revealed as TIME's Person of the Year on Wednesday, is pledging to cut the cost of prescription drugs.
In an interview with TIME ahead of his selection, Trump said he doesn't "like what's happened with drug prices" and that he will "bring down" the cost of prescription medication.
Drug companies have hiked prices exorbitantly over the past several years. Notable examples include Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which spiked costs on two heart medications by 300% and 700%, and Mylan's 548% hike on the price of EpiPens.
The issue has yet to be successfully addressed through legislation. On the campaign trail, Trump called for requiring Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower costs.

And now?  Heh.  Trump is no longer going to force prescription drug prices down or allow Medicare to negotiate prices.  Instead, he is going to reduce regulation in the pharmaceutical industry.  Which is a great idea!  Who cares about thalidomide and similar problems?

Oh, and I almost forgot!  Trump is going to cut taxes to the Big Pharma, because the poor dears (a global oligopolistic industry, by the way), don't already earn sufficiently huge profits.

It's that fact about the oligopolistic nature of the pharmaceutical industry which makes coleslaw about the idea that Medicare price negotiations would amount to some kind of unprecedented price fixing in the markets.  Because oligopolies do not result in competitive prices in the first place.

People have been asking whether Trump is going to carry out all his nutty campaign promises.  The answer seems to be that those Stephen Bannon's white-Christian-male-supremacy base wants to see will be carried out.  The ones that are about business will not be carried out.