The whole subject of pricing in the pharmaceutical industry is certainly complex, and the way this idiot behaved at Congress this morning doesn’t help anything. But for those looking to craft a truly cogent perspective on the complex issue of drug pricing – to maintain belief in free markets with the desire to enhance human life – I want to offer this as a foundational principle:
If you strip the profit motive from biotech/pharmaceuticals/health care, people are going to die.
I am, for purposes of this post, making no other assertions. I actually have plenty of thoughts on a holistic policy framework around this issue, but that is not the subject of this post. But on that principle, that the profit motive has and will save and enhance life, there can be no disagreement. May all of the other posturing, pontificating, and even proselyting around this issue not lose sight of that. We must defend markets in matters of R&D, biotech, and drugs, NOT because the profit motive is our END, but rather the MEANS to the END: The flourishing of human life.
To maintain a different goal, and to deny the tool that most achieves it, is morally bankrupt.