Can The Drug Companies Win?

Ezra Klein:

You could imagine a pretty efficient universal health care system in which the insurance companies did just fine. Indeed, competing on price and quality in a universal system should actually be a better proposition than competing on risk shifting in a system where 47 million people -- and two million more every year -- can't afford their product. It's a more sustainable business model. The opposite, however, is true for device and pharmaceutical companies in a more efficient system. Given that estimates suggest 30 percent or so of care is wasted, an efficient system would support less, rather than more, of their products.

A physician who listened in on the recent PhRMA (the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) blogger conference call disagrees and thinks the drug companies might benefit from nationalized health care: a way pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, and physicians are fairly well aligned on many aspects of healthcare reform. Now if certain members of Big Pharma would please give up on those “me-too” drugs, stop creating more expensive medicines by simply combining two perfectly good ones into a new pill, stop hiding negative research studies, and refrain from aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing tactics, we might all really be on the same page.