America’s most hated man, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli, was grilled by a Congressional committee yesterday over his decision last year to raise the price of a drug used by AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750. In the clip below you can see elected members of Congress go out of their way to scold him as an unethical mass-murderer with innocent people’s blood on his hands. I suggest you watch these highlights from the hearing before you read on:
The irony here is that these very same lawmakers you just saw are at the very heart of a system which is directly responsible for killing tens of thousands, possibly millions, of desperate innocent people since 1906. Their killing spree is also sadly far from over as they’re set to finish off tens of thousands more in the decades to come.
HOW THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT KILLS THOUSANDS
By making it ridiculously time consuming and expensive to get new drugs approved, the FDA (a US government agency) is killing potentially life-saving drugs in their infancy by making them economically unviable to research, test, produce and bring to the market.
Imagine a small experimental drug for a rare virus or disease that affects less than 5000 people annually. There’s an upper limit to what those 5000 people are willing or able to pay. If the FDA ensures the trials and approval process is so strenuous and time consuming that it ends up costing more than a company can possibly ever recoup through selling it, the life-saving drug will never be researched or produced.
Additionally the FDA kills terminally ill patients by denying them the use of drugs that already exist but have yet to be approved. Imagine you’re dying from a rare disease clinical trials by a major drug company have showed are curable, but won’t get access as it has yet to be approved.
Some brave Congressmen have indeed introduced a bill to change this, but obviously not enough of them. Plus it’s being fought at the State level like in government heavy California. Even if this status quo is somehow overcome in the future, it doesn’t somehow make up for the thousands who are now six feet under due to said bureaucratic nonsense. One could argue that the Food and Drug Administration is a separate entity that runs its own show. Said argument however would ignore one important fact;
The FDA is an arm of the US government and Congress could reign them in. Its unwillingness to do so makes the lawmakers who run it far deadlier than Martin Shkreli will ever be.