Sunday, October 17, 2004

Canada: If there was any doubt about who runs Canada, its not Prime Minister Paul Martin, but whoever is the Quebec Premier. Sudan: Sudanese government denies 70,000 have died in Darfur. New Zealand: This ought to make New Zealand a fun place in about 10 years as Maori prison inmates are converting to radical Islam, which also doubles as a way for Maori nationalism. WTO/EU: WTO rules against the EU about its sugar subsidies, EU says that's garbage, Australia who along with Brazil and Thailand brought the complaint against the EU says yea! Canadian Drugs: Tom Maguire points to a NYTIMES article about the idiotic thinking that America buying drugs from Canada will have a miracle effect and bring us cheap drugs. Of course a Kerry policy has this ridiculous statement. For all the shortcomings, the Kerry campaign argues that drug imports should be given a chance. "If the impact is so negligible, why are the drug companies fighting it so much?" said Sarah Bianchi, Senator Kerry's policy director. Even if the overall bulk of imports were not that large, she added, "they would apply some pressure on the drug industry and make them revisit their pricing policies." That is quickly squashed by this logic. But the measures proposed so far would do little to change the fundamental economics of the drug industry as it exists today. Prescription drugs cost a lot to invent, but once invented cost little to manufacture. That is why patents are granted to drug companies - to prevent other companies from copying their inventions long enough for the inventors to set prices high enough to recover their investment and make a profit. But price controls short-circuit this system. As the article also points out, America is paying for everyone else's cheap drugs, if America were to go into price control, less money equals less R&D for starters. It's not cheap making drugs. You need a profit margin, or companies will just go out of business or not bother getting into it.

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