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Cancer drug shortages

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CityLights, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. CityLights

    7+ Year Member

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    I was really glad to see this article on the NYT website today. I've been aware that there have been some pretty serious drug shortages in recent years especially with cancer drugs and anesthetics, but I've never really understood why manufacturers have had no incentive to produce these needed drugs until I read this:

    You have to wonder -- would we possibly be doing better if we had no such laws to interfere with the natural interchange of supply and demand? To me this is a clear illustration of the possible unforeseen consequences of setting limits on what the government will pay for certain drugs.

    OTOH, why doesn't a cash market exist for these drugs? I discussed this issue briefly with an oncology nurse a few months ago, and she said that even life-saving drugs have had to be heavily rationed because the shortages are so severe. Anyone have some insight on this issue?

    Here's the full article: Shortchanging Cancer Patients
     
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  3. 911 Turbo

    911 Turbo middle schooler aspiring doctor
    Removed Account on Hold Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Interesting read...

    As always, money seems to transcend medicine
     
  4. CityLights

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    One of the commenters on the article wrote, "This is why we need to take the profit out of healthcare."

    My view: Isn't that what this law did, and isn't the shortage the consequence?
     
    #3 CityLights, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  5. Astarael

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    If there was no profit to be made anywhere, then the companies (theoretically) would make all drugs in the amount demanded (since they would have no incentive to go after more profitable drugs).

    In reality, without profit, most pharma companies would probably try to penetrate other markets.
     
  6. CityLights

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    If there was no profit to be made anywhere, how would these companies have the means to produce drugs at all? There would be no incentive to produce any single drug.
     
  7. Astarael

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    lol I agree with you. The commenter you quoted is definitely wrong. I was just thinking out loud, I guess.
     
  8. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average
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    Welcome to the real world.
     

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