Elizabeth Warren's new bill: let the US government manufacture generic versions of overpriced, unavailable drugs

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/18/pocketbook-issues.html


Add in some development of new antibiotics that normally wouldn’t be touched by big pharma with that department and I think she might have some gold in her hands


I wonder how the “free market” Republicans in the Senate will react.


I wonder how the pro-plaintiff’s lawyer Democrats will feel about the potential lawsuits against a state run manufacturer.


This has zero chance of passing. There are too many powerful people in charge who make far too much money from drug manufacturers. Until we have a decided majority of representatives and senators who care more about their constituencies than lining their own pockets and staying in power, these kinds of idealistic bills don’t stand a chance. Ask ERA and term-limits if you don’t believe me.

Did we make a significant move in that direction this year? Sure. Are we close? Nope. We need at least half a dozen more progressive waves without losing ground in between. Will that happen? Very unlikely. So…40-60 more years maybe?


Other recently proposed bills addressing Big Pharma:

via The Hill:

“Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) helped introduce a bill last week to allow the government to step in and stop certain price spikes for drugs.”

“And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled a bill last month to strip drug companies of their monopolies if their prices are deemed excessive.”


I wonder how people that could now afford their medication will react.

[note sarcasm]


Remember the debate over the Public Option?

  • Government can’t do anything right
  • Nobody could possibly compete with government

Great idea. Since we no longer enforce our anti-trust laws, this may be the best option. I kinda would like to see the govt. setup production facilities rather than grant license to current manufacturers, but that’s a different discussion.

You’ll have to keep that in the world of your imagination since she isn’t proposing state manufacturing but rather license grant to private companies

then grant permission to manufacturers to use these licensed patents to make the generic versions at a “fair price.”

I do however support state run manufacturing. The “fair price” condition leaves a lot of room for numbers fudging. “No really, we spent a lot of money tooling up to make insulin so we have to charge this amount”


I think, perhaps, you misunderstood my point. I am entirely in favor of Senator Warren’s plan to create a not-profit-driven way to make orphan drugs.

I was merely pointing out that like/dislike of this plan does not fall on Republic/Democrat lines.

Deeply entrenched moneyed interests on both sides would have reason to be against this.

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Even if it did fall strictly on party lines it would have no chance of passing the Senate, much less the White House.

Isn’t this pretty much what India already does?

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Also because there’s like 10 seconds left on Congress session clock. Once it’s up, the session ends and all unpassed bills are wiped away, to start clean in the January new session.

There are maybe a few bills that they’ll try passing before closing, and the rest is passing time while everyone updates their Christmas card lists and whatnot.


You’re not suggesting that Elizabeth Warren is grandstanding, are you?


As a diabetic who now has to horde insulin like preppers horde guns and MREs, I would be ecstatic if this had a chance of passing. Unfortunately big pharma has a lot of money they throw at lots of congressmen, so I have little hope.


trump has his rallies and Warren, Harris and Sanders haven’t figured out how else to crowd test their ideas.

They need to do a better job.

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Or the Social Darwinists who think that poor people who can’t afford the branded drugs should just die.

Wait, sorry, same people. Carry on.


I doubt this even reaches the grandstanding level. This is like reading five minutes of shit into the Congressional record in the wee hours of the morning with almost no one there.


That’s true of most of Warren’s bills, or any Democratic senator’s bills. But I still think it’s a wise idea to keep putting the good ideas out there.


The one force working against this is viagra/cialis and their patents. If Warren et al can make the argument that this would make the price of these remarkably cheaper, or OTC, a nation may demand “action”.