Open Thread

This is our monthly place to discuss related topics that have not appeared in recent posts.

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  • solipsist

    What are the politics behind the FDA’s strictness? I don’t think pharmaceutical companies like it, so it’s not regulatory capture. I don’t think patients like it, so it’s not pandering to voters. What is it?

    • Bill

      It’s capture. Pharmas like it just fine. They especially like it post-PDUFA.

      • solipsist

        How does a long and expensive licensing process make pharmaceutical companies more profitable? I understand why expensive licensing helps hair dressers. I don’t understand why it would help patent owners. Hairdressers are fungible and their customers are price sensitive; drugs aren’t and their customers aren’t.

      • IMASBA

        The companies like the current American licensing process COMPARED TO one that would be as critical and stringent as voters would like the FDA to be.

      • Bill

        Because it is not just long and expensive. It is also difficult, bizarre, and non-trivially dependent on the whims of the regulators. And the established firms have lots of successful experience negotiating this process. And they have relationships with the regulators which relationships can be used to put a thumb on the scale against entrants.

        Basically, you are asking why barriers to entry might be favored by incumbents.

        Drugs are highly fungible, by the way, and their customers (called PBMs) are indeed price sensitive.

  • Bill

    I’m not so sure about this. It seems to me that far right and far left groups quote one another approvingly on US foreign policy all the time. Unz.com is a good example. Similar things are true on the economy as well. Both the far right and the far left view things like TARP or quantitative easing as giveaways to financial oligarchs. They don’t seems particularly hostile to one another to me.

  • Robert Koslover
  • James Scott

    A random question: whence comes the need for secrecy in wages ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/09/senate-falls-six-votes-short-of-passing-paycheck-fairness-act/ ) ? I’m struggling to find some plausible economic justification, and falling short.