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posted by janrinok on Monday August 15 2016, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the money,-money,-money dept.

I ran across a story in the acclaimed “medical journal”, International Business Times, about how an old PMS medication from the 60s might be an Alzheimer's cure. Considering the source, I don't put a ton of stock in the story but it was interesting enough to look around a little more. That led me first to wikipedia to learn a little more about the drug in question (sounds like it has nasty side effects), which is when I got totally sidetracked:

Mefenamic acid is generic and is available worldwide under many brand names.[5]

In the USA, wholesale price of a week's supply of generic mefenamic acid has been quoted as $426.90 in 2014. Brand-name Ponstel is $571.70.[15] In contrast, in the UK, a weeks supply is £1.66, or £8.17 for branded Ponstan.[16] In the Philippines, 10 tablets of 500 mg generic mefenamic acid cost PHP39.00 (or the equivalent of $0.88USD) as of October 25, 2014.

The numbers in wikipedia may be extreme, but not by much. Looking online, I see that thirty 250mg tablets cost at least $111 at Walmart. In an almost direct reversal of the quantity and price numbers, one hundred 250mg tablets cost $35 from a UK manufacturer, but to get the drug at that price, you must break Federal law.

The rest of my comment would be a long string of expletives which I shall omit.


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  • (Score: 2) by Capt. Obvious on Wednesday August 17 2016, @08:52AM

    by Capt. Obvious (6089) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @08:52AM (#389050)

    I dispute your claim that other countries set prices by government decree / NHS negotiation, this is not universally true.

    It's not universally true. But it certainly is true in a great and growing number of countries. Further, those countries include all Western/industrial the countries with the lowest perscription drug costs. Citation [pharmatimes.com]

    The positive economics on this are well established.

    Except, they aren't. You're spewing theory. Meanwhile, the real world disagrees.

    Lastly, I want to address your misunderstanding of fallacies and insults. This diversion is primarily to help you communicate better. First, I never did insult you, nor apologize for insulting you. I needed to know if I could use words like "monopsony" and use the huge amount of implications I could leverage. You obviously haven't taken a course. There's no reason to be embarrassed, and I don't think it makes you unable to speak about this topic. But it does mean I have to communicate differently.

    But, you really, really, love to refer to fallacies when it's not relevant. I never used an ad homenem, I asked if you took a course. I never used an appeal to authority, although frankly in this case I might be able to legitimately. Remember, it's not "an appeal to authority", it's "an appeal to illegitimate authority". That is, a medical doctor is no authority on macroeconomics, but it is considered a legitimate argument if you're talking about if you have cancer. Authorities only offer some evidence, and obviously shouldn't shut down the conversation, But they inform it. My assuming you thought libertarian policies would be preferred are based on your understanding of economics. But it was not a strawman argument. It wasn't even an argument.

    If you really want to refer to fallacies, you have to learn to distinguish between something that looks similar, and an actually flawed argument.

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  • (Score: 2) by migz on Wednesday August 17 2016, @08:00PM

    by migz (1807) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @08:00PM (#389272)

    "Price Controls Are Disastrous for Venezuela, and Everywhere Else"
    https://mises.org/blog/price-controls-are-disastrous-venezuela-and-everywhere-else [mises.org]

    • (Score: 2) by Capt. Obvious on Wednesday August 17 2016, @11:55PM

      by Capt. Obvious (6089) on Wednesday August 17 2016, @11:55PM (#389379)

      That piece was long on theory, and short on real world evidence. I would, trivially, point to the economic downturns in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Russia as evidence that it's the price of oil that has the most to do with Venezuela's situation. Yes, their internal policies exacerbate the issue, but petro-dollars are not what they once were.

      Not all industries are the same. Healthcare, in particular, has low elasticity, low information consumers. Things that work well with toilet paper, may not work on lifesaving drugs.

      Did you read my citation about drug prices in the UK and Norway (coming soon to Germany?)