California's plan to make insulin affordable could help end prescription price gouging everywhere

Originally published at: California's plan to make insulin affordable could help end prescription price gouging everywhere | Boing Boing


So how long until a GQP Governor announces a matching increase in insulin prices for residents of their state?


India does this. If foreign drug makers demand too much for their patented medicines, India gives them a great big middle finger and produces generics locally.

Unrelatedly I’m sure, India has among the lowest drug costs in the world.


That seems too straightforward: imagine the possibiliites for higher prices and a new layer of sleazy middlemen if, say, the regulatory environment that gave us the glorious world of car dealerships were to be adapted for the purpose!

Those are already quite influential and well entrenched at the state level, so they’d no doubt be happy to help with some model legislation; and there’s a rich ecosystem of predatory finance, high-pressure sales, and questionable payment packing to go with it!

(I can already see some oleaginous AEI flack keeping a completely straight face while arguing that the dealership model incentivizes diabetics to purchase underbody corrosion protection; which is clearly a public good given the propensity to ulceration and amputation.)


It’s always a pleasure to see California throw its demographic weight around for a good cause. A nice counterbalance to the disproportionate influence that the backwards states have on the nation.


I wouldn’t downplay the value of people being able to afford insulin for a couple of years before the corruption catches up. But yes, without a massive overhaul in the US bribery system and/or voters’ tolerance for it, that is a very plausible outcome.

Like how people keep voting to make it illegal for their town to supply cheap fast broadband. Not knowingly, of course. But voters are easy to trick, if you have money to spend


It would be amazing if they could get this working. If they can produce insulin, they can threaten the pricing of lots of other drugs, and there is no reason they cannot sell the product in other states with proper approvals. I know why new drugs are extremely expensive, but we have to keep the old standards affordable.


Yes: marketing.

Wait… did you think it was R&D that was driving up the prices? Oh, that’s precious.


India also produces part of the various compounds that Western pharma use to make the drugs we are prescribed. In some cases they produce the whole drug and sell it to the European and other Western companies for relabeling as their own.
Fuck Bill Gates, almost any 2nd or 3rd world country can produce their own high quality medicines, including Covid-19 vaccines.


In the first sentence, they mentioned epi-pens, but I think that was a misprint. Epi-pens cost $500 and up for people with no insurance, so I unfortunately don’t think they’re included, plus they’re never mentioned again. For people who need them, at school, at home, in their purse/pocket, these can be overwhelmingly expensive. I wish we could get the price down.

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I really want a presidential (or primary) debate to include the question “What are some examples of market failures, and what do you think should be done about those?”
I’d really like to see Republican candidates squirm and say that “market failure” is an oxymoron, an impossibility, while Democratic candidates get to sound populist, naturally.


Presumably they mean insulin pens which are used by a lot of people, not epipens.


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