Government Regulation Is Why Drugs Cost so Much – Ep. 370

Misguided Tweet About Pfizer

Another misguided tweet that came out today from the President had to do with drugs:

Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere. We will respond!

So here’s the President, threatening businesses for raising prices; for making a profit.   If Obama were calling out big business like this, the Republicans would be all over him, or if Hillary Clinton were saying this:”You don’t understand capitalism! This is an assault on private enterprise!”

Trump’s Protectionism Tolerated by Republicans

But Trump says it and it’s no big deal.  Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton had launched these recent tariffs? Can you imagine the backlash by the Republicans? “This is terrible, the President doesn’t understand capitalism; the President doesn’t understand free trade; this is going to backfire; this is going to lower our standard of living; this is going to raise prices!”  The Republicans would be all over Hillary Clinton.  They would have been all over President Obama. Republicans have generally been known to be in favor of free trade.  It’s the Democrats who wanted some protectionism because they wanted to protect workers.  They think free trade will lower wages, hurting the blue collar worker. So you would generally associate Democrats with protectionism. The Republicans wanted to be Free-Traders.

Get Rid of FDA Red Tape

Now, of course, since President Trump is advocating protectionism, the Republicans don’t want to attack him because they are blindly loyal to the party. So now he’s bashing Pfizer and other private companies for “gouging” the consumer, just raising prices for no reason.  This is all misplaced. I agree that drug prices are too high; they should be a lot lower. It is not that Pfizer is rising prices for no reason. One of the reasons drugs are so expensive is the FDA. This is something President Trump can do something about.  He is the President.  The FDA is a Federal agency. Why not get rid of all that red tape?  It takes an average of 10 years and $2.6 billion for a drug company to develop a drug and get it to market. The drug has to recoup those costs when they finally get a drug to market.