Free Market



  • So, a post was put up in the current news about the CEO of a pharma company jacking the price of meds to 5000%.

    In a truly Free Market Capitalism market place - is this really wrong, and if so, why?



  • I'll start by saying that what we have in the USA is anything but a free market system. Instead we have croni-capitalism, which to me is probably worse than almost any other system.


  • Service Provider

    From a business point of view, this is the entirely a good thing.

    But businesses do not exist in a vacuum. Ethically, it was a douchebag move.

    But there was nothing illegal in what he did.



  • @Dashrender In my absolute libertarian view, if people we pay it I see no problem. But anything that happens like this in medicine, in the US, is croni-capatilism between them, the doctors and insurance companies.



  • Free market capitalism breaks down when you have an infinite demand, like you do when someone needs a drug to live. You can literally charge them all of their possessions for it and they will pay. This is why for essential goods and utilities you want a regulated market.



  • @Nic said:

    Free market capitalism breaks down when you have an infinite demand, like you do when someone needs a drug to live. You can literally charge them all of their possessions for it and they will pay. This is why for essential goods and utilities you want a regulated market.

    yeah - you're touching on points Scott regularly makes to why healthcare should be something provided by the government, and the only reason I've ever budged from my otherwise stanch stance that heathcare is not a right and therefore is 100% your own personal responsibility.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    So, a post was put up in the current news about the CEO of a pharma company jacking the price of meds to 5000%.

    In a truly Free Market Capitalism market place - is this really wrong, and if so, why?

    Ah, because medicine is not part of the free market. A fundamental guideline of the free market is that only products that are optional are part of it. Anything that involves life saving or life protecting must be not private in a true free market. When you withhold someone's health, that is considered the opposite of a free market system.



  • @brianlittlejohn said:

    But anything that happens like this in medicine, in the US, is croni-capatilism between them, the doctors and insurance companies.

    So without repeating what Nic said, can you break this down for me a bit?


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said:

    But there was nothing illegal in what he did.

    Yet to be determined, he's not a free man right at the moment. He may have acquired the drug rights using money he did not earn.



  • Just so everyone knows what this guy looks like.... aka a giant phallic IMO.

    And in the link above is an article about it...



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    But there was nothing illegal in what he did.

    Yet to be determined, he's not a free man right at the moment. He may have acquired the drug rights using money he did not earn.

    JB will correct me if I'm wrong - but what I think JB meant was that in regards to his hiking the price on this drug, he did nothing wrong.

    The fraud charges are currently appearing to be unrelated to that.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @brianlittlejohn said:

    But anything that happens like this in medicine, in the US, is croni-capatilism between them, the doctors and insurance companies.

    So without repeating what Nic said, can you break this down for me a bit?

    All drugs in the US are controlled and neither delivered through the free market system or anyone can buy or sell freely, nor are they provided as needed by the government. Every drug, no matter what it is, is gated through a combination of companies, government and a medical guild / union that control our legal access to drugs. You can argue the merits of that separately, but all drugs are gated in a way that makes them unable to be used in any free market context.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    But there was nothing illegal in what he did.

    Yet to be determined, he's not a free man right at the moment. He may have acquired the drug rights using money he did not earn.

    JB will correct me if I'm wrong - but what I think JB meant was that in regards to his hiking the price on this drug, he did nothing wrong.

    The fraud charges are currently appearing to be unrelated to that.

    Just important to box the "did nothing wrong" because the drug price hike didn't happen in a vacuum, if he stole the money to buy the drug to do the hike, the hike is kind of tied to the stolen money.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @Nic said:

    Free market capitalism breaks down when you have an infinite demand, like you do when someone needs a drug to live. You can literally charge them all of their possessions for it and they will pay. This is why for essential goods and utilities you want a regulated market.

    yeah - you're touching on points Scott regularly makes to why healthcare should be something provided by the government, and the only reason I've ever budged from my otherwise stanch stance that heathcare is not a right and therefore is 100% your own personal responsibility.

    There is another side here too. I agree with Nic, freemarket does not apply to medicine.

    However, lets imagine that it did. If we remove the shackles of "things that are not free market" like not having monopoly laws, unregulating drugs, making people pay for their own healthcare we would also remove things like the patent office. Suddenly the ability to jack the price on a drug does not exist because someone else could make it for cheap.

    It is the government that makes it that this company has exclusive rights to make the drug. So not only is there questions around the free market on the "provisioning of healthcare" side but also on the "exclusive rights to manufacture" side as well as the "exclusive rights to legal distribution" side.

    There is no free market from any angle in this particular scenario.



  • What I find odd about this particular case, is that Daraprim has been around for 62 years.

    Isn't there supposed to be a time limit on patent rights? Also, if there are, how long are the patent rights for medicines? Or can they simply be "renewed" by selling the patent to a new owner?


  • Service Provider

    @DustinB3403 I think you mean patent rights :) Hopefully no limit on patient rights.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @DustinB3403 I think you mean patent rights :) Hopefully no limit on patient rights.

    Yep...

    sorry, corrected.


  • Service Provider

    Patents tend to be a little fluid. Earn enough and you can convince someone to extend that stuff.


  • Service Provider

    @DustinB3403 said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @DustinB3403 I think you mean patent rights :) Hopefully no limit on patient rights.

    Yep...

    sorry, corrected.

    Funny mistake given the topic. Patent rights overriding patient rights is really the issue at hand!



  • A free market would be SAM letting someone else get a word in edgewise in this thread :)


  • Service Provider

    Here is a thought experiment...

    What if a single rich person could hire every doctor that there is - this doesn't just give them access to all existing legal healthcare but the right to control the creation of more (only doctors can make more doctors legally.) The market is not free, someone new is not allowed to just become a doctor by knowing doctor stuff, you have to have other doctors and political groups approve you. It's a gated thing. So, in theory, access to healthcare can be controlled by a single person without the ability to have competitors.

    In a free market, that situation cannot arise. Someone could always invest the time, effort or money to compete. But in the current framework, it is completely possible although totally impractical, to literally buy up all healthcare and with non-competes literally shut down the healthcare systems totally if one so desired.



  • @scottalanmiller what your missing though is that the doctors may choose to be hired by that person or not.

    In addition there are monopoly laws, which oddly things like healthcare and the US Government are monopolies.


  • Service Provider

    @DustinB3403 said:

    @scottalanmiller what your missing though is that the doctors may choose to be hired by that person or not.

    Nope, not missing that. That doctors have a free market to sell their services is not in question, it is the people's right to get those services that is.


  • Service Provider

    @DustinB3403 said:

    In addition there are monopoly laws, which oddly things like healthcare and the US Government are monopolies.

    There are, and they don't get applied to healthcare specifically.



  • OK speaking of patents - are you for or against them?

    I'm thinking that in the free market areas that it's probably an OK if not really a good thing.

    But I can definitely see where it hurts in the locked in areas like power, water, healthcare.

    I Also now understand why healthcare isn't and can't currently be a free market thing, because it's all controlled tightly by the government.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    @scottalanmiller what your missing though is that the doctors may choose to be hired by that person or not.

    In addition there are monopoly laws, which oddly things like healthcare and the US Government are monopolies.

    Sure there are monopoly laws, but some monoplies can't really be avoided - like power lines to your home. It's not tenable to have more than say 2 power companies run power to every house in most cities, and even two would represent a huge waste of resources.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    @scottalanmiller what your missing though is that the doctors may choose to be hired by that person or not.

    Nope, not missing that. That doctors have a free market to sell their services is not in question, it is the people's right to get those services that is.

    what do you mean people's right to get services? We have no rights to any service, at least not constitutionally.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    OK speaking of patents - are you for or against them?

    Mostly against and believe that they should, at most, be extremely limited to specific product categories and for extremely limited periods of time and very, very firm in their limits without exceptions. I believe that they should never apply to software or chemicals or other potentially natural things.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    I Also now understand why healthcare isn't and can't currently be a free market thing, because it's all controlled tightly by the government.

    That's only part of it. Even if the government was not involved at all, it's not eligible for the free market because it is not an optional service in the standard sense of the term.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I Also now understand why healthcare isn't and can't currently be a free market thing, because it's all controlled tightly by the government.

    That's only part of it. Even if the government was not involved at all, it's not eligible for the free market because it is not an optional service in the standard sense of the term.

    IE you don't get the doctor that wants to test something out on you versus using the proven method with side effects x, y and z?


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