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Comment Re:I'm curious why pharma doesn't play hardball. (Score 1) 151

Sure, but should the government does that, thinking people will realize that it will be the end of new drug development in the US. The government would have to take over the manufacturing of drugs - mostly stealing IP from other countries. Over time, drug development (and of course production, but that's already often the case) would all be overseas covered by foreign patents. When the US started ignoring patents, a trade war would ensue with other countries imposing a tariff on US imports to compensate the foreign drug companies for the IP that the US stole from them (as they should).

Mob rule really doesn't work out that well in spite of what progressives believe as private property rights are pretty important to motivating innovation.

Comment Re:I'm curious why pharma doesn't play hardball. (Score 1) 151

The difference is, the US market is pretty much the last place they can actually make a profit when taking into account R&D costs of the successful drugs and the ones that never make it to market (or make it to market and result in lawsuits/settlements) so I would expect them to defend this last moat vigorously.

Of course, maybe they figure that if the US consumer stops subsidizing other countries, they can just raise prices in other countries using the same strategy I expect they would be using now with Medicaid in the US.

Comment I'm curious why pharma doesn't play hardball. (Score 1) 151

Why would Mylan agree to such terms for Medicaid? If Mylan just says "This is the price, buy it, don't buy it, develop an alternative, approve an alternative -- we don't care. If you don't commit to buying some number of units, we may not be able to meet your demands so you will have to buy them at inflated prices on the secondary market. Let us know by next Tuesday.", then Medicaid needs to pay for it or declare that it's not a covered medication for those on Medicaid.

Presumably Medicaid could institute a training program to teach injection without "autoinjectors" to everyone (patients, caregivers, responders in schools etc) who might need to use the "low-tech" solution. However, that would probably be much more expensive than paying list price.

It seems that pharma, if they played their cards right, would discover that the government actually has little negotiating power since Medicare (especially) and Medicaid patients will go to their Congresscritters to complain if a drug isn't covered and their representatives would, for political rather than strictly medical or economic reasons, insist that the drug be available regardless of cost. For an example of how political forces result in bizarre outcomes, consider that Medicare covers late stage renal failure for those under 65 for some reason, but almost no other chronic and expensive conditions are covered for those under 65.

Comment Screaming... (Score 1) 126

So, most of the people screaming on the coaster now will be what we are used to (mostly teenagers on a date -- been there, done that). However, there will also be one 60 year old guy at the back of each car who really has a good reason to scream. I'm betting he doesn't buy his picture from the "buy your picture here" guy at the end of the ride because who would want to be reminded of that?

Comment Re:Asinine. (Score 1) 438

How about forbidding using the words "Allah" and "jihad" on the internet? After all, some sites that encourage terrorism and actually publish instructions to make bombs use such terms.

Better to be safe than sorry in a corner case - it's just the First (and, in this case, the Second) Amendment. That's a very small part of the United States Constitution so such limitations are nothing to be concerned about.

Comment Re:Criminal behavior (Score 2) 84

What is wrong with that? Surely you don't expect every politician to, without help, personally draft every word of legislation that they propose? No politician can be an expert on the details of computer security, warfare, welfare, medicine, nuclear power, geology, oil drilling, education, global finance, genetics, food safety, space exploration, micro economics, the penal system, economics of healthcare, religion, etc... Of course they seek the assistance of others in crafting the details.

However, at the end of the day, they have to vote for/against legislation and they are accountable to the voters there -- what's the problem?

Comment Re:Don't rush to conclusion (Score 1) 84

Why the disclosure? If Plan B makes more sense than Plan A, let those voting for Plan B explain why they did so to those they represent or risk recall or losing in the next election.

The source of an idea doesn't make any difference -- the idea is what matters. When code reviewing code for correctness, style, etc, why do you care who wrote it?

This is why peer reviews of articles are ideally blind - the reviewer doesn't know who wrote the paper so the authorship can't influence them, just the technical details of the paper (of course, even then, reviewers can often make a pretty good guess at the primary authors just based on content and direction).

Comment Re:Criminal behavior (Score 1) 84

What is illegal about proposing and drafting legislation and asking a politician to carry it forward?

When you call your councilperson's office and say "People are driving too fast through my neighborhood and putting our kids at risk. Please get the law changed so we can get speed bumps installed on the 300 through 600 blocks of Oak St", what are you doing?

The summary (of course I didn't RTFAs) doesn't suggest bribery or anything of that nature.

Comment Re:While It Sucks... (Score 1) 160

The 18th Amendment was legal authority -- just as much if the Postal Clause had originally been omitted from Article I Section 8 and a later Amendment gave Congress the power "To establish Post Offices and post Roads". Just because a portion of the Constitution (which includes all the ratified Amendments) is "political" doesn't preclude it from being legal authority. Virtually every phrase in the Constitution can be viewed as "political policy".

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