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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-do-drugs-eh dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Canadians are in a kerfuffle over the Trump administration's preliminary plan to allow Americans to import lower-cost prescription medications from Canada.

The plan was announced July 31 and is part of the administration's long-sought effort to drag down the US's skyrocketing drug prices. But it's a long way from being a reality. Even if the plan does pan out, it will likely be years before regulators review, approve, and scale up efforts to import drugs.

Still, Canadians are infuriated by the idea and already brainstorming ways to toss it down the garburator, according to a report by health-news outlet STAT. Many fear that American importation would exacerbate current drug shortages in Canada.

"You are coming as Americans to poach our drug supply, and I don't have any polite words for that," Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa told STAT. Prof. Attaran went on to refer to the plan as "deplorable" and "atrociously unethical." "Our drugs are not for you, period."

[...] On Monday, August 12, Canada's Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor was set to meet with pharmacists, patients, and industry officials to discuss a response to the US plan, according to STAT. Petitpas Taylor has pledged to "ensure there are no adverse effects to the supply or cost of prescription drugs in Canada."

In order to protect Canadians, some advocates and policy experts suggested that Canada could begin controlling the export of pharmaceuticals, pass new laws simply banning exporting drugs meant for Canadians, or impose new tariffs.

-- submitted from IRC


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BsAtHome on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:12AM (28 children)

    by BsAtHome (889) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:12AM (#879566)

    Translated: Our free-market and deregulation approach failed. We will not admit that we failed or fix the system. We'll treat the symptoms instead. Lets raid our neighbor because their system works better.

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:35AM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:35AM (#879572)

      Yes, it is definitely not the US's patent laws being abused to make up for price fixing by foreign governments causing the Government-charted Corporations to recuperate their "lost profits". Definitely the failure of the Free Market.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:35PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:35PM (#879712)

        Ummm, ya?

        Fascism is the end game of capitalism when government doesn't keep firm control over corporations. The corporations have bought the gov, not the other way round genius.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:22PM (8 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:22PM (#879732)

          Fascism is the end game of capitalism when government doesn't keep firm control over corporations.

          This is the most historically ignorant thing I have ever read. Your version of history is the exact opposite of reality. Congratulations.

          Everything in fascism is controlled and stifled by a parasitic state. Go read a bit of real history about how life worked in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:10PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:10PM (#879767)

            You're right, I should have specified corporate fascism. Basically any system that allows power to be concentrated into the hands of a few goes fascist. End game capitalism is characterized by monopolizing corporations and that massive power imbalance allows those same corporations to buy out politics.

            To make these comparisons even more fun check out http://freedom-school.com/elkhorn3.html [freedom-school.com]

            It is our national shame to have been so complicit in the Nazi agenda, even if it was all hush-hush. Only when the US was attacked did we decide to step in, and we've been lording our late efforts over everyone else ever since.

            I doubt you'll agree but the US is about 95% of the way through the transition to corporate fascism. We have a president actively behaving like a dictator, but thankfully he sucks at it and most of the US population is outraged so it doesn't get too very far. This isn't just another "Trump sucks" cheap shot, if you're honest with yourselves you will stop playing it all off as "just a trolling prank bro."

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:56PM (6 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:56PM (#879784)

              You doubt I agree the US is 95% there, and we *now* have a president acting like a dictator? Just now?

              It is like you took 1/3 of the red pill and haven't figured out what is going on yet. It is better to take no red pill at all than do that, because you are going to end up begging the same fascists for more abuse.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @08:42PM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @08:42PM (#879819)

                I was being generous and not trying to rock your worldview, but seems we're mostly on the same page. No other president has been nearly as dictatorial as Trump, though Bush/Cheney ramped it up and Obama really pushed the limits with droning US citizens. Bush and Obama were bad enough to make Hitler jokes about, Trump is going literal Hitler. Pretty important line being crossed, though it is good to point out the progression.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:06PM (4 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:06PM (#879829)

                  If you think Trump is any worse than the last 5 you are delusional.

                  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:09PM (3 children)

                    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:09PM (#879830)

                    Your correct, he's not worse than the last 5, he's worse than the last 44.

                    --
                    Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:30PM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:30PM (#879833)

                      No, he isnt. If anything things have proceeded slightly slower under him. The biggest deal under his admin so far has been fasab 56, which is really just a formalization of the status quo. Go back to begging for the fascist government your supposedly fear to take over responsibility for your health.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:01PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:01PM (#879844)

                        Ah, a MAGA idiot it seems. Or maybe just a regular idiot? Matters not if you're that deluded by cynicism and whatever else.

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:01PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:01PM (#879873)

                          Ah someone who didnt even know what fasab 56 is until now.

    • (Score: 2) by Username on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:08PM (2 children)

      by Username (4557) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:08PM (#879584)

      This is just taking down another barrier to the free market. Do you think they will still overcharge once a cheaper source of drugs enters the market. I don't see how this is failure.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Immerman on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:30PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:30PM (#879624)

        What cheaper source? The drugs are still going to be coming from the same company, they're just going to be making a stop in Canada along the way.

        So the result will depend - would it be more profitable for them to overcharge in Canada and possibly lose sales, or lower their prices in the U.S? Keeping in mind of course that the U.S. has 10x the population, and is commonly paying 10x as much per dose for the drugs, meaning that Canada is likely only responsible for about 1% as much total profit as the U.S.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:14PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:14PM (#879650) Journal

        Hahahahahahahahahahahha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Government tries to intervene to take drugs from an outside marketplace in bound and you call that a free market.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Tovarisch, you are funny with your definition of free markets - best laugh I've had all month.

        --
        This sig for rent.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:39PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:39PM (#879596)

      If you think pharma is a free market, executives [wikipedia.org] have an $800 Epi-Pen to sell you.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:13PM (5 children)

        by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:13PM (#879611) Homepage Journal

        Bingo. Monopolies are the most harmful thing there is to a free market and patents are government granted monopolies. Now there's a good reason for them to exist despite that but in their current state they do as much harm as good.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:23PM (3 children)

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:23PM (#879655) Homepage
          Don't confuse the paid-by-the-number-they-grant USPTO with a functioning patent office.
          Patents are absolutely necessary in order to prevent the abuse of the small by the huge - i.e. to protect against monopolistic (oligopolistic) practices.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:32PM (2 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:32PM (#879709)

            Ideally, patents protect inventors and developers, encouraging them to bring valuable inventions to market.

            In practice, patents more often create a barrier to entry for "little guys" who can't compete with the patent muscle of bigger corporations that play in their space. Threat, and actuality, of litigation between entities mismatched 100:1 or worse in financial capacity only ends one way: the way the big player wants.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:38PM (1 child)

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:38PM (#879859) Journal

              Threat, and actuality, of litigation between entities mismatched 100:1 or worse in financial capacity only ends one way: the way the big player wants.

              Yep, and the occasional exceptions [wikipedia.org] prove how incredibly difficult it is for a single person to challenge a giant corporation on this stuff.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:58PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:58PM (#879872)

                The big boys miscalculate sometimes, or, maybe they figured it was worth a $400M risk for the sales advantage...

                More often, they'll just stonewall the patent holder until his rights expire, then introduce his feature the following year. I've been told an anecdotal tale how the invention of hydraulic assisted power steering was stifled this way, by a bitter engine inventor's son who was similarly unable to get investment or licensing interest in his better mousetrap.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:30PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:30PM (#879739) Journal
          Don't forget the FDA helpfully blocking competitors.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:19PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:19PM (#879617)

      These are all artificial problems... drugs cost what they cost, and are supplied at the quantities they are supplied, in the various markets because of the existing regulations - change the regulations and "the market" will find a new equilibrium.

      I wonder: are addictive pain meds cheaper in Canada? How about Mexico? Why wouldn't carrot-top propose allowing Americans to (legally) import drugs from both of our neighbors, and our biggest legal trading partner?

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:58PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:58PM (#879676) Journal

      Our free-market and deregulation approach failed.

      Who would "us" be? Neither the US or Canada does that.

      Lets raid our neighbor because their system works better.

      Sounds like you think you're talking about the US for some reason.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:22PM (4 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:22PM (#879700)

      But remember kids, just because our neighbor's system worked better than ours is no reason to adopt it. Anybody proposing that the United States adopt some sort of publicly run health care system for everybody is a radical who is simply using health care as a the wedge to turn the USA into Stalin's USSR, complete with gulags and show trials and summary executions. You wouldn't want to support *gasp* Socialism, would you?

      And if you aren't the sort that is scared by that kind of talk: Any office-holder or candidate proposing the United States adopt some sort of publicly run health care system for everybody is a radical who will be unable to appeal to the voters of middle America, and supporting them is helping $THEIR_PARTY gain/retain power. Sure, it's great ideals and all, but we have to think of the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that $OUR_PARTY should be in power. Now, I know you don't like how $OUR_PARTY is rather awful, but do you want $THEIR_PARTY, who is evil incarnate, to win?

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @07:15PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @07:15PM (#879796)

        Evil incarnate? I don't think it's that sophisticated.

        More like, they're the other team and we've got to support our team no matter what.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:16PM (#879848)
        • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:52PM

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:52PM (#879867) Journal

          More like, they're the other team and we've got to support our team no matter what.

          Which "other team"? The Democratic politicians supported the disaster of enslavement to the insurance industry commonly known as Obamacare (and explicitly rejected more centralized options), while the Republicans for the most part still continue to oppose any move toward more centralized management of healthcare.

          Sure, some Dems are now changing their minds. But neither major "team" has a good record on any of this.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 14 2019, @06:07PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @06:07PM (#880412)

          The propaganda definitely treats the other side as evil incarnate. It makes it easier to rally the base.

          And the way they do it is no more sophisticated, really, than the efforts to drum up hatred for, say, the New York Yankees in order to sell more sports tickets.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:13AM (39 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:13AM (#879567)

    Supply and demand affect pricing. So if Canada's drug prices are kept low by the government the extra US demand will drive up those prices.

    I'm all for lowering drug and healthcare costs in the US. But this is admitting that US drug companies screw the US population and the best we can do is buy drugs from other counties.

    How long will it take for US drug companies to increase drug prices due to lower volume caused by US consumers buying directly from Canada? Big Pharma wants its tens of billions in profits and they'll do whatever they can to squeeze it out of the US consumers.

    • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:36AM (12 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:36AM (#879573)

      But this is admitting that US drug companies screw the US population

      Was there anybody that did not already know this?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:38AM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:38AM (#879575)

        The people thinking free healthcare will magically fix it?

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by MostCynical on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:14PM (7 children)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:14PM (#879588) Journal

          Regulated markets with free/subsidised health care works in several other countries.

          --
          "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by curunir_wolf on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:08PM (6 children)

            by curunir_wolf (4772) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:08PM (#879603)
            ... for several specifically defined instances of "works"
            --
            I am a crackpot
            • (Score: 5, Touché) by MostCynical on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:20PM (5 children)

              by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:20PM (#879618) Journal

              Get sick, get treatment, not be in debt when discharged from hospital?

              --
              "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
              • (Score: 3, Touché) by Immerman on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:32PM (3 children)

                by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:32PM (#879627)

                But who's rolling in the cash? Hugely flawed system.

                • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:15PM (2 children)

                  by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @09:15PM (#879831)

                  As opposed to get sick, get treatment, go bankrupt or alternately, get sick, can't afford treatment, die?

                  --
                  Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
                  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday August 14 2019, @01:55PM (1 child)

                    by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @01:55PM (#880183)

                    I guess my sarcasm wasn't loud enough. Allow me to increase it:

                    That are you talking about? That never happens to executives or anyone else in the investor class.

                    • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Thursday August 15 2019, @10:37PM

                      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Thursday August 15 2019, @10:37PM (#880751)

                      Yeah, I missed the sarcasm, my detector was taking a break. If that's the worst I do this week, I'll call it a win.

                      --
                      Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:41PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:41PM (#879632)

                "treatment"

        • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Tuesday August 13 2019, @07:31PM

          by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @07:31PM (#879806)

          Well done intentionally misrepresenting the entire concept in order to make a strawman argument.

          It's not "free" healthcare. It's paid for in taxes. But it's regulated by a central gov't agency that works to prevent the different vendors from taking advantage of a captive market.

      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:20PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:20PM (#879653) Journal

        But this is admitting that deregulated markets with patent protections US drug companies screw the US any population for items that are necessities and not luxuries.

        FTFY

        --
        This sig for rent.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:10PM (#879688)

        Was there anybody that did not already know this?

        Know? No. But I said "admit". And Big Pharma doesn't (and will never) admit that they are screwing the US population.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:40PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:40PM (#879597) Journal

      Big Pharma wants its tens of billions in profits and they'll do whatever they can to squeeze it out of the US consumers.

      For the good of American people, let's hope what the Big Pharma can do will be very little.
      It still amaze me how far the governance system** of US could go with impunity in betraying their "for the people" mission.

      ** all the 3 branches together, not only the government

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:17PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:17PM (#879695)

        For the good of American people, let's hope what the Big Pharma can do will be very little.

        A significant percentage of prescription drugs get a price hike every year. Big Pharma will just increase the costs more than they had originally planned.

        Congress has passed laws preventing Medicare (the largest insurance & healthcare provider in the US) from negotiating lower drug prices (at the behest of Big Pharma, naturally). Every other country with government supplied healthcare negotiates more favorable pricing.

        We have not seen the extent of what Big Pharma can do because they never get pushback on their current anti-consumer practices.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:00PM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @10:00PM (#879843) Journal

          Well, a fool's hope then.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:20PM (5 children)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:20PM (#879619) Homepage Journal

      You're missing the reason Cheeto Jesus is doing this in the first place. It's not to get cheaper drugs from Canada. It's to make it impossible for pharmaceutical companies to sell domestically at jacked way the fuck up prices, because there's a cheaper avenue. If they can't sell anything at the inflated prices, they'll lower prices to match or barely beat price+shipping and undercut the price and/or lead time of importing from Canada.

      That's the theory anyway. I doubt it will work because the pharmaceutical industry will do whatever it has to to keep it from happening.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:37PM (3 children)

        by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:37PM (#879629)

        You mean the same drug companies that are selling the exact same drugs in Canada for 10% of the price? Canadian drugs aren't cheaper because they're coming from a different source, they're cheaper because their medical system is able to negotiate a more reasonable price. However, given the choice between lowering their prices 90% in the U.S., or raising them 10x in Canada, what do you suppose they're going to do? Keeping in mind Canada has 1/10th the population, so that the total drug profit for Canada is probably about 1% that of the U.S.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:34PM (#879742)

          I quite doubt that Big Pharma wants "their" drugs REALLY start coming from a different source.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:10AM (1 child)

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:10AM (#879944) Homepage Journal

          Yes, that's what I mean. Canada requires that they sell them and sell them for those prices and threatens to ignore their patents if they don't. If Americans get to start partaking of that price as well, they lose a fuckton of money. They make some of that back if they sell domestically at the same price because there are no to-Canada-and-back shipping costs.

          Or it could be a standard Trump game of chicken to get them to drop their prices a bit. He plays that a hell of a lot if you haven't noticed.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:14PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:14PM (#880206)

            And? If Canada ignores their patents so someone else starts making them, they lose all of 1% of their combined U.S. + Canada profit. A far better outcome than lowering their prices in the U.S. and losing 90% of that profit. Those drugs still can't be imported into the U.S. since, quite aside from the current broad-spectrum ban on imported drugs, those specific drugs still violate U.S. patents and can't be legally imported.

            Of course it would be a very different picture for generics, lifting the blanket ban could totally cut the legs out from under the U.S. makers with their price-gouging collusion. Or maybe not - with the U.S. market on the line U.S. companies might drastically increase their budget for buying Canadian politicians to "fix" their medical system. I think we'd need to lift the ban for far more than just Canada to be sure of avoiding that - let Americans import (FDA-approved) drugs from any major nation with a similarly safe pharmaceutical system and then you really let us benefit from global pricing, rather than just painting a bulls-eye on one particular nearby government to drag them down to our level.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @04:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @04:55AM (#879988)

        You're missing how long things take in this dysfunctional system we have now, even when people are actually trying to get things passed. What he is actually trying to do is look like he is trying to do something about drug prices. If he doesn't get reelected, then this whole thing is a "what could have been" and if he does, then we will probably have at least one enabling law (with all the riders and amendments and whatnot) that needs to be passed. Then there are the years required for the regulations to be promulgated. There is also at least one intervening Congressional election in the meantime. Then there are the inevitable lawsuits that will enjoin the law until it makes its way to SCOTUS. Not to mention that his staff is probably well aware that the Canadians can do all sorts of things to mess with his plan and that the USMCA's patent provision will raise Canadian prices anyway.

        Just like any promise from any politician, I'll believe it when I see something beyond just words.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:23PM (16 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:23PM (#879620)

      the extra US demand will drive up those prices.

      Econ 101 is an oversimplified view of things.

      The extra US demand will mostly drive up drug company output to meet said demand, unless the drug companies are artificially holding supply low - which they should in the case of drugs of abuse which are causing more health problems than they improve - but that's not how things are really done. Pharma output is paced to maximize profits, and this generally means putting as many pills into as many paying customers' hands as possible.

      They can make enough Prozac to drug the fish in the lakes downstream from sewage treatment plants, they can make enough Oxy to supply every addict who can get a pill-mill doc to give them a script, if there's profit in it for them, they'll make more.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:40PM (15 children)

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @02:40PM (#879665) Homepage
        From the viewpoint of the US pharma companies, there is no extra demand. Each additional US citizen wanting to get drugs via Canada will be one lost US citizen wanting to get drugs internally.

        However no principles of free market economics should apply to this scenario, as there's no elasticity.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:01PM (14 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:01PM (#879677)

          I don't know the whole landscape, but a great many Pharma companies are multi-national. They have no problem charging 10x and more for certain drugs in US and European markets as compared to "developing nations" like India and China. There's a thin veneer of "the Western market drugs are held to higher standards," while talking out the other side of their face to India and China about how the drugs they are being sold are "just as safe and effective, but much more economical", when, in reality, it's often the exact same production processes, sometimes coming from the exact same factories.

          These same business practices mean that the drug companies will sell the same pills on either side of the US-Canadian border at very different prices.

          All Trump is trying to do is make it legal for people to end-run this price protection scheme... it's not an altogether bad idea, but it is a big slap in the face to IP market protection - which would probably cost him politically, if he had any future in politics.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:10PM (13 children)

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:10PM (#879689) Homepage
            The whole point of a free market is such that the vendors can charge as much as they can get away with for their goods and services, so it's unsurprising that they would behave this way.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:29PM (6 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:29PM (#879707)

              it's unsurprising that they would behave this way.

              It's also unsurprising when you get cornered in a dark alley by a thief with a gun that he demand all your valuables and then shoot you in the foot so you can't run after him, particularly when the police have a reputation of never doing anything about it.

              Unsurprising, but not the state I want to drive the world toward.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:33PM (5 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @04:33PM (#879741) Journal
                What are you proposing to prevent that? Remember a government is a far more effective thief than a market of corporations is.
                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:04PM (4 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @06:04PM (#879763)

                  For all of their failings, government has given me police which are 98% non-corrupt, at least a semblance of education for most of my neighbors, an overgrown military which at least hasn't drafted anyone in my family in the last 60 years (or any family for the last 45), roads, somewhat safe food and water, and better than should be expected weather forecasts.

                  They also happen to ensure that most of my neighbors have at least the opportunity for enough food to eat and shelter, which dramatically reduces the need for police.

                  These things don't come cheap. It's easy to cry foul when power hungry corrupt individuals defraud the system and steal "OUR TAX DOLLARS," but, on balance, I feel less ripped off by the city, state and federal government than I do by the medical industry, insurance industry, even automotive and fuel industries (except, of course, when the feds have been in collusion with the fuel industry to abuse that overgrown military AND rape us at the gas pump simultaneously...)

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:34AM (2 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:34AM (#879958) Journal

                    For all of their failings, government has given me police which are 98% non-corrupt, at least a semblance of education for most of my neighbors, an overgrown military which at least hasn't drafted anyone in my family in the last 60 years (or any family for the last 45), roads, somewhat safe food and water, and better than should be expected weather forecasts.

                    Hurray for extremely low standards. So what, if your government has many failings? We can always find something, if we look hard enough, that the government isn't too badly incompetent or malicious at. Let's review some of the problems with the stuff you wrote. First, you have no clue how corrupt your police force is, but 2% is highly optimistic and situational. A semblance of education means what? They drafted people in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it was just via a legal mechanism that snagged people who served in the previous few years. Your government spends freely on new road construction, but has this mysterious trouble in finding money to maintain existing roads. Somewhat safe? And shiny weather forecasts (the relative non-failing appears).

                    They also happen to ensure that most of my neighbors have at least the opportunity for enough food to eat and shelter, which dramatically reduces the need for police.

                    Most of your neighbors do that for themselves.

                    These things don't come cheap. It's easy to cry foul when power hungry corrupt individuals defraud the system and steal "OUR TAX DOLLARS," but, on balance, I feel less ripped off by the city, state and federal government than I do by the medical industry, insurance industry, even automotive and fuel industries (except, of course, when the feds have been in collusion with the fuel industry to abuse that overgrown military AND rape us at the gas pump simultaneously...)

                    "Except of course..." pretty much kills the point. It's always interesting how people gloss over the corruption and waste.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15 2019, @06:49PM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15 2019, @06:49PM (#880700)

                      "Except of course..." pretty much kills the point. It's always interesting how people gloss over the corruption and waste.

                      Time to swab out your brain cavity. They addressed the corruption and waste specifically to address the outliers where we're being ripped off by the gov AND corps. Yet you turn it around like some sort of attack.

                      This is the kind of disingenuous bullshit people don't like from you, maybe go re-read the comments on your whiny journal entry.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday August 17 2019, @12:50AM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 17 2019, @12:50AM (#881373) Journal
                        Sorry, AC, this kind of fallacy happens over and over again. General claim X is made, but in a futile attempt to forestall the bringing up of obvious counterexamples, Y, various fallacy arguments are made for why Y can be disregarded. And yet there we are. Claim X is made followed immediately by negating argument Y. All that is require to fully rebut the argument is to note that the arguer just shot themselves in the foot.

                        In addition to the above example in this thread, we have someone dismissing [soylentnews.org] the claim that "resources are preferentially going to the older generations" with the moral assertion that "most healthcare supports those who are older (preventive care aside) is pretty much the way it ought to work". It still means that they just granted said preferential allocation of resources.

                        Don't want the "disingenuous bullshit" obvious rebuttal? Then don't make the Wizard of Oz fallacy. We're never going to agree that the Wizard of Oz is mysterious and all powerful when we can see him running around like a chimpanzee behind the curtain. The mention of a counterexample never negates the counterexample. It's time to learn that.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @05:16AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @05:16AM (#879994)

                    Thank you for the rational and realistic post. The government is not, on the whole, that bad, because it at least provides us with service. The real rpoblem is the corporations who are infecting our governmental process with their undue and over concentrated influence without the reasoned mind of real individuals, which is what our system was institued to service and be run by. We really need to get industry in this country back on track to enriching our lives, rather than being used as vehicles of theft and destruction

            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:22PM (5 children)

              by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:22PM (#880213)

              Um, no. In a free market there's lots of competition, which drives the market price down to the cost of production (including amortized capital costs and interest).

              Far from being the point of a free market, high profits are a sure sign that you don't actually have one. If you did, someone else would have swooped in and started selling the same goods with half the profit margin to make a killing.

              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday August 15 2019, @06:19PM (4 children)

                by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday August 15 2019, @06:19PM (#880686) Homepage
                Nope. There's no asymmetry in a well-functioning free market. The situation you have described is entirely asymmetric. Have you never noticed that economics textbooks, and in particular the treatises which introduce the concept, will explain these things in terms of commodities "P" and "Q", not "money" and "goods"?
                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 16 2019, @02:20AM (3 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 16 2019, @02:20AM (#880836)

                  Who said anything about asymmetry?

                  In a well functioning free market there's many producers and many consumers. And if there's many producers then, irrespective of how many consumers there are, there's no way to charge substantially more than cost for your commodity goods - all the (rational) consumers will buy from another producer selling at a lower price while still making a profit.

                  Of course, if the profit margins aren't large enough to be appealing then the producers will shift production to some more profitable product, but the net result is that all products on the market will see roughly the same profit margins.

                  The only ways to sell at a price substantially more than cost is to:
                  1) promote irrational consumer behavior (a.k.a. marketing),
                  2) collude with all/most of the other producers to artificially raise prices, or
                  3) establish a monopoly so that you don't have to collude with anyone else.

                  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday August 16 2019, @07:38AM (2 children)

                    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Friday August 16 2019, @07:38AM (#880934) Homepage
                    > Who said anything about asymmetry?

                    Your whole post was presented in terms that were asymmetric, so you did. As you did in the above response.
                    --
                    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 16 2019, @01:43PM (1 child)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 16 2019, @01:43PM (#881049)

                      Looking at one part of an equation is not necessarily asymmetric, except in attention.

                      In a free market price is determined by the intersection of the cost and demand curves. But that's just another way of saying that commodities will be sold at (roughly) cost, though it adds the detail that the cost will change depending on the volume being produced.

                      Please feel free to explain things more fully if you have a solid argument against that basic assumption of free-market economics.

                      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday August 18 2019, @10:10AM

                        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Sunday August 18 2019, @10:10AM (#881700) Homepage
                        In the abstract, money is merely just another commodity. There's as much a push to maximise the amount of P you can get for so many Qs as there is a push to maximise the number of Qs that you can get for a certain amount of P. Consumers are merely suppliers of the commodity called "money".
                        --
                        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by RamiK on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:41AM (7 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @11:41AM (#879577)

    And use the money to build a wall. A glorious, beautiful, long and high wall. To keep those dirty, ill-mannered, uneducated, diseased, thieving and raping eh, #insert Canadian derogatory term for US citizens#, south the border.

    --
    compiling...
    • (Score: 2) by Username on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:11PM

      by Username (4557) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:11PM (#879586)

      Really high. High enough to keep those roving polar vortices penned up, I tell you what.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:22PM (3 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:22PM (#879592) Journal

      #insert Canadian derogatory term for US citizens#

      It's "Upper Mexicans."

      You're welcome.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:31PM

        by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:31PM (#879625) Homepage Journal

        Neat. That means I can wear a sombrero fishing and take afternoon naps and nobody can bitch at me for cultural appropriation.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:30PM (1 child)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @03:30PM (#879708) Journal

        So I can eat some Taco Bellyache without feeling guilty.

        --
        When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:44PM (#879598)

      Great comment! Came here to say something similar but doubt it would have been as succinct. As an American, I feel my country could benefit from your juxtaposition.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:50PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:50PM (#879600) Journal

      And use the money to build a wall.

      You are 3 years late [www.cbc.ca] with that idea.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:01PM (25 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:01PM (#879580)

    How surprising that there are drug shortages in a country with government determined prices. You can't make this up.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:16PM (#879590)

      I had no idea the problem was already so advanced: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canadian-pharmacists-association-drug-shortage-survey-1.4938557 [www.cbc.ca]

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:17PM (7 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @12:17PM (#879591) Journal

      The UK?
      The Netherlands?
      Australia?

      None of these have shortages.

      Are you saying the US has prices set by the government?

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:08PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:08PM (#879605)

      Why was this modded Troll? The United States does not have drug shortages. Why do they? Don't manufacturers make the amount that is ordered, like manufacturers do in the United States?

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:12PM (14 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday August 13 2019, @01:12PM (#879608) Journal

        See comment above, and

        https://www.drugs.com/drug-shortages/ [drugs.com]

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:23AM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @02:23AM (#879932)

          That URL is dishonest for what we are discussing. The purpose of the page that you listed is to alert doctors to alternative options that are still available. If you click into any one of those items, the Available Products provides information on how to continue treatment based on what is still available from different quantity sizes, pill sizes, manufacturers, or alternate treatment options. This is far different from "my treatment cannot continue because of supply shortages." This page actually makes it easier to continue treatment when a specific SKU becomes unavailable.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 14 2019, @12:00PM (9 children)

            by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @12:00PM (#880096) Journal

            https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/food-and-drug-administration-safety-and-innovation-act-fdasia/fact-sheet-drug-products-shortage-united-states [fda.gov]

            "Shortages of drugs and biologics pose a significant public health threat, delaying, and in some cases even denying, critically needed care for patients. Preventing drug shortages remains a top priority for FDA."

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 16 2019, @10:54PM (8 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 16 2019, @10:54PM (#881333)

              You just stated a fact without context. That is not how you compare things.

              Now what is the rate of treatments *without substitutes* in the United States, and the rate of treatments without substitutes in Canada? Without this, we only have speculation.

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday August 17 2019, @01:23AM (7 children)

                by Gaaark (41) on Saturday August 17 2019, @01:23AM (#881377) Journal

                "Why was this modded Troll? The United States does not have drug shortages. "
                https://soylentnews.org/politics/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=33086&page=1&cid=879605#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

                I showed you it DOES have shortages.

                Not sure why you can't get this simple stuff!....oh, right. The American education system.

                Sorry dude. I should have made it all more basic and SPELLED it out for you. Here we go:

                YOU IS DUMB!

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @01:25AM (6 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @01:25AM (#881378)

                  Without numbers for comparison, your words are meaningless. Did your education system not teach fractions?

                  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday August 17 2019, @02:23AM (5 children)

                    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday August 17 2019, @02:23AM (#881393) Journal

                    You said America has NO shortages.
                    0% shortages.

                    I showed it was NOT 0%

                    Do any fractions you want.

                    --
                    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @03:19AM (4 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @03:19AM (#881415)

                      I will translate colloquial speech into literal speech since you apparently need it:

                      There is no long lasting drug shortage crises worthy of nation wide news coverage in the United States because it is market based. Where there are shortages of specific stock (a specification of size of medication and quantity of medication), the FDA publishes alternatives so that people can resume treatment under different SKUs, types of medicines, or forms of treatment. Treatment mitigated in this fashion continues, so SKU shortages should not be conflated with failure to provide treatment. No one has made drug shortages in the US a political issue because it is very well managed when compared to the price controlled markets that socialists want us to move to.

                      People complain of verbosity if I always express this level of detail.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @03:39AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @03:39AM (#881424)

                        "No one has made" is not literal enough. "No one of any significance has made" is.

                      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday August 17 2019, @02:06PM (2 children)

                        by Gaaark (41) on Saturday August 17 2019, @02:06PM (#881525) Journal

                        Does the US have drug shortages?

                        You said NO.

                        The FDA says yes.

                        You said 0%

                        The FDA says NOT 0%

                        NOW you say "There is no long lasting drug shortage"
                        Sooooo, not 0%?

                        Thank you for confirmation: there ARE shortages in the US. That's all I was talking about.

                        --
                        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @09:13PM (1 child)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @09:13PM (#881572)

                          You might want to look up what colloquial speech is. It will probably save you time in the future.

                          We are not lawyers.

                          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday August 18 2019, @12:33AM

                            by Gaaark (41) on Sunday August 18 2019, @12:33AM (#881614) Journal

                            Nor debaters.

                            --
                            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:03AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14 2019, @03:03AM (#879940)

          There is a difference between "My favorite brand A bread is out of stock, so now I buy brand B bread instead" and "There is no bread by any brand in stock."

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 14 2019, @05:06PM (1 child)

            by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday August 14 2019, @05:06PM (#880344) Journal
            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @12:40AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17 2019, @12:40AM (#881370)

              I expect that the rate of drug shortages in the US is not 0.0%. But it does not seem to be high enough that we would be bothered by Canadians coming down into our country to get them. In fact, Canadians routinely visit the US for surgeries that they either cannot wait for due to an absurdly long waiting list or there is a superior treatment method offered in the US that is not available in Canada. No one in the US is complaining about Canadians making our waiting list times longer because our government is not creating artificial shortages.

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