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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/12/2004 5:43:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2004 10:32:17 AM EST by NewbHunter]
I was talking to a friend last night who is an undecided voter. I've been trying to convice her to vote for Bush for a while now. She's heard all the stuff about the WOT and Kerry from me, but the one thing she brought up last night was Bush's voting record agenda on prescription drugs. I got the impression that her vote could hinge on this issue.

Anyway, she said that from what she had heard, Bush had pushed to make it illegal to buy prescription drugs from Canada, and that this was a bad thing because it meant that it was going to cost senior citizens much more money to get the right medicines. I think she also alluded to the fact that what she had heard was that Bush's record on things like medicare, etc. has also been bad. She's open minded, so she doesn't just believe in things like that outright without getting all the facts, so she asked me what I though because she knows I am in favor of Bush and keep up with current events very well.

Well, I had to be honest with her and told her that was one area I wasn't very well informed about. She asked me to find out more information for her and let her know. So, tell me what I need to know about Bush's stance on things like prescription drugs and health care. I also would like to know the other side's argument as well, so I can be prepared and give her a good explanation.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 5:51:59 AM EST
You do realize that presidents don't HAVE a "voting record"?
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 6:03:39 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 6:09:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
Well, I had to be honest with her and told her that was one area I wasn't very well informed about. She asked me to find out more information for her and let her know. So, tell me what I need to know about Bush's voting record on things like prescription drugs and health care. I also would like to know the other side's argument as well, so I can be prepared and give her a good explanation.



She sounds like she wants the .gov to give her healthcare, or help her get it. She should just vote Kerry, then. The reason people get 'cheap' drugs in Canada is that Canada forces pharmaceutical companies to sell to Canada at or near cost, or Canada threatens to steal their patents and give them to Canadian firms. This is how government "provides" prescription drugs to its citizens. Allowing Americans to buy these things from Canada makes that nation a mob-like middle-man between producer and consumer, essentially stealing the profits (and thus the incentives to innovate and optimize) from the entire endeavor. And in order to make up for stolen profits from Canada, companies raise prices where they can. That means here. Canada's socialist policy distorts the market, like any other price control, and will only force drug companies to reduce supply, or go out of business.

Is she cannot understand the economics of the matter, you're only choice is to sell a different set of priorities. Explain that terrorism is a more important issue than getting drugs on the cheap.

But you'll never be able to 'out-promise' a Democrat when it comes to handouts. You may be pissing into the wind, as they say.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 6:09:36 AM EST
Please share with your friend that drug reimportation is a bad thing. In the short term it may save you a couple bucks, in the long term it will prevent the discovery of new drugs. I'm always amazed just how short sighted people are when it come to such things.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 6:26:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2004 6:30:45 AM EST by NewbHunter]
I know he doesn't vote per se, but you know what I mean. If he signed something into law or pushed for senators or house reps to vote something into law it's kind of the same thing. That's what I was getting at and what I think she was getting at too.

Anyway, thanks for the responses. Keep them coming as I can use all the information that I can get ont he subject.

Edit: I should also add that she works in health care and she despises the drug companies. She tells me that the reps for the drug companies are a bunch of weasels who just try and get doctors and other health care providers like her to buy into all their "studies" so that they write unneeded prescriptions to their patients. Don't get me wrong, she's not one of those natural medicine, hippy freaks, she just is very wary of the information and the so called studies that these drug companies put out. She's done a lot of reasearch on independant studies that often show much different results from what the drug companies claim.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 6:35:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2004 6:35:55 AM EST by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By the:

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
Well, I had to be honest with her and told her that was one area I wasn't very well informed about. She asked me to find out more information for her and let her know. So, tell me what I need to know about Bush's voting record on things like prescription drugs and health care. I also would like to know the other side's argument as well, so I can be prepared and give her a good explanation.



She sounds like she wants the .gov to give her healthcare, or help her get it. She should just vote Kerry, then. The reason people get 'cheap' drugs in Canada is that Canada forces pharmaceutical companies to sell to Canada at or near cost, or Canada threatens to steal their patents and give them to Canadian firms. This is how government "provides" prescription drugs to its citizens. Allowing Americans to buy these things from Canada makes that nation a mob-like middle-man between producer and consumer, essentially stealing the profits (and thus the incentives to innovate and optimize) from the entire endeavor. And in order to make up for stolen profits from Canada, companies raise prices where they can. That means here. Canada's socialist policy distorts the market, like any other price control, and will only force drug companies to reduce supply, or go out of business.

Is she cannot understand the economics of the matter, you're only choice is to sell a different set of priorities. Explain that terrorism is a more important issue than getting drugs on the cheap.

But you'll never be able to 'out-promise' a Democrat when it comes to handouts. You may be pissing into the wind, as they say.



No, she does not want the gov to give her health care. We have discussed the socialist health care system of Canada and she agrees that it's stupid. In fact SHE was the one that told ME about how bad Canada's health care system was, now that it's government regulated and run about as well as the postal service...

She definitely is not a socialist and understands that socialism is a bad system of government.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 7:10:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
She definitely is not a socialist and understands that socialism is a bad system of government.



Then she should want to vote for the person that will least interfere with health care, and you wouldn't need our help. Among the major candidates, that's obviously Bush. But somehow, I'm not getting the impression that's what she was looking for. Mostly because of this:



Anyway, she said that from what she had heard, Bush had pushed to make it illegal to buy prescription drugs from Canada, and that this was a bad thing because it meant that it was going to cost senior citizens much more money to get the right medicines.



If she judges resistence to price controls simply as "bad" there's not much hope. That's a reflexively liberal (emotional) outlook when it comes to economics. She might not consider herself a liberal, but if that's the depth of her understanding of price controls, she really is - at least on that front. That's what you need to address with her.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 7:15:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By the:

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
She definitely is not a socialist and understands that socialism is a bad system of government.



Then she should want to vote for the person that will least interfere with health care, and you wouldn't need our help. Among the major candidates, that's obviously Bush. But somehow, I'm not getting the impression that's what she was looking for. Mostly because of this:



Anyway, she said that from what she had heard, Bush had pushed to make it illegal to buy prescription drugs from Canada, and that this was a bad thing because it meant that it was going to cost senior citizens much more money to get the right medicines.



If she judges resistence to price controls simply as "bad" there's not much hope. That's a reflexively liberal (emotional) outlook when it comes to economics. She might not consider herself a liberal, but if that's the depth of her understanding of price controls, she really is - at least on that front. That's what you need to address with her.

Good luck.



Thank you.

Please explain to me how making it illegal to buy prescription drugs is not controlling the price. Wouldn't allowing people to get their drugs from where ever they want be the least intrusive and least controlling of the price?

I'm not trying to argue with you, only playing Devil's Advocate because I know these will be questions she will ask me and I want to be prepared.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 7:54:42 AM EST
Right now you can buy drugs from Canada if you want to take the risk. You just can't make your HMO or Medicare buy them from there. Bush signed a bill which will spend over $100 billion a year buying drugs for old people.

Many drugs aren't available in Canada and as time goes on fewer and fewer new drugs will be marketed there because the drug companies can't make back their investment which is around $750 million per drug discovery.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:14:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Right now you can buy drugs from Canada if you want to take the risk. You just can't make your HMO or Medicare buy them from there. Bush signed a bill which will spend over $100 billion a year buying drugs for old people.

Many drugs aren't available in Canada and as time goes on fewer and fewer new drugs will be marketed there because the drug companies can't make back their investment which is around $750 million per drug discovery.

GunLvr



Thanks for the information. I've been googling the Medicare Reform Bill and other things related to it, but it seems I keep getting all kinds of websites saying negative things about it. Of course those websites don't back up their claims with any facts, so I'm not going to buy it without the facts.

Do you have any factual links explaining what Bush's health care reforms are and what they have done? Thanks
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:16:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2004 10:59:45 AM EST by Aardvark]

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
Right now you can buy drugs from Canada if you want to take the risk. You just can't make your HMO or Medicare buy them from there. Bush signed a bill which will spend over $100 billion a year buying drugs for old people.

Many drugs aren't available in Canada and as time goes on fewer and fewer new drugs will be marketed there because the drug companies can't make back their investment which is around $750 million per drug discovery.

GunLvr

Personally I am against drug re-importation but for vastly different reasons. I hate to see the Canadians get screwed out of being able to get the medications they need because they have been shipped back here because this country cannot get its act together. I have family and friends outside of Toronto and I am not aware of any drugs they cannot get that we can get here. Plus, for quite some time they have been able to purchase several items OTC that we still cannot in this country; Tylenol with codeine and Allegra come to mind. In fact, it is cheaper for me to buy a 30 pack of Allegra-D 12 hour than a 20 pack of Claritan-D in this country and that doesn't even include the exchange rate. Some of my friends get a kick out of the "safety" concerns being raised because none of them have ever had any problems with "imported" drugs from the United States and the Canadian government follows FDA guidelines to the letter rather than making up their own rules (although with what is going on at the FDA lately it would probably make sense for them to abandon that idea and create their own agency).

The comment about selling drugs at cost in Canada is not true. The drug companies still make a profit just like they do in Europe. They just do not make as extreme a profit as they do here. Also, new drugs are not subject to the same price controls in Canada as older drugs are. A newly introduced drug has a much higher markup in Canada than one that has been on the market for five plus years (if I recall the time frame correctly). Over time, the newly introduced drug will be subject to more stringent price controls but initially the drug companies get a very good return. As for patent protection, the only drug that had its patent lifted recently was Cipro back in 2001 due to the Anthrax scare and the inability of the manufacturer to supply large quantities of it. However, the scare subsided quickly and I do not believe they ever followed through on manufacturing it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:19:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
Please explain to me how making it illegal to buy prescription drugs is not controlling the price. Wouldn't allowing people to get their drugs from where ever they want be the least intrusive and least controlling of the price?

I'm not trying to argue with you, only playing Devil's Advocate because I know these will be questions she will ask me and I want to be prepared.



The drugs that are exported to Canada at a reduced rate are meant to be used by Canadians ie. there is nowhere near the amount available to re-import back to the U.S. With the increased demand, the suppliers will find a source from other countries ie. Taiwan, China, etc. If they can copy movies, they can copy drugs. How can you ensure the safety of drugs from a Third World country that doesn't practice the same manufacturing safety controls as the U.S., especially when they know they are exporting the drugs anyway? Do you think they give a flying fuck if it's safe? You can tell your friend that it has always been illegal to import prescription drugs. Just because the authorities haven't enforced it doesn't make it legal. Bush is only talking about enforcing the laws already on the books.

BTW, Canadians have to pay for all their drugs, reduced rate or not. My patient told me yesterday that she had 85% of her prescription drugs paid by Medicare when she used the card yesterday. The coverage rate depends on income.

I am 100% against any form of Socialized Medicine, including Medicare, Medicaid, Drug Plans, etc. It is ruining Canada's healthcare system. You get what you pay for.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:36:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2004 8:37:24 AM EST by NewbHunter]
Pardon my ignorance. I'm learning a lot here, so bear with my questions.


Originally Posted By C-4:

The drugs that are exported to Canada at a reduced rate are meant to be used by Canadians ie. there is nowhere near the amount available to re-import back to the U.S. With the increased demand, the suppliers will find a source from other countries ie. Taiwan, China, etc.



So does this mean that it is legal in Canada for the suppliers there to get "copies" of drugs from third world countries and sell them as the real thing without having them inspected or tested or anything? Or is it just that there isn't enough enformcement of this practice and there's no way to tell who is doing this illegally and who is not?


If they can copy movies, they can copy drugs. How can you ensure the safety of drugs from a Third World country that doesn't practice the same manufacturing safety controls as the U.S., especially when they know they are exporting the drugs anyway? Do you think they give a flying fuck if it's safe? You can tell your friend that it has always been illegal to import prescription drugs. Just because the authorities haven't enforced it doesn't make it legal. Bush is only talking about enforcing the laws already on the books.


Thanks, I did not realize that it was always illegal. The way she worded the question to me was as if to say that it was legal until Bush signed something into law making it illegal. What, if anything at all, has Bush signed into law that has either further enforced or restriced buying prescription drugs from Canada?


BTW, Canadians have to pay for all their drugs, reduced rate or not. My patient told me yesterday that she had 85% of her prescription drugs paid by Medicare when she used the card yesterday. The coverage rate depends on income.


Do you have any credible and factual sources that explain in detail the Medicare Reform Bill and Medicare in general? I see lots of conflicting views when I google this.


I am 100% against any form of Socialized Medicine, including Medicare, Medicaid, Drug Plans, etc. It is ruining Canada's healthcare system. You get what you pay for.



I agree. Any form of socialized medicine is a bad idea. I've always felt that people should be responsible for their own actions, rather than let the government babysit.
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:44:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
Please explain to me how making it illegal to buy prescription drugs is not controlling the price. Wouldn't allowing people to get their drugs from where ever they want be the least intrusive and least controlling of the price?



Yes, but only if the market they purchase from is also not subject to those controls. People will always seek the lowest price. Problems occur when that low (or high) price does not occur naturally. Think about it. You've developed a useful drug. If someone creates law that makes your useful drug indistinguishable from a failed one in the marketplace (by greatly reducing your profits, as does Canada), what's the point of it? How will you continue to refine, invent, or produce? Good intentions? They don't keep the lights on.

In the case of our drug companies, they compensate for being forced into controlled markets by charging what they can, in markets that are not controlled. That's why, in the end, US consumers are responsible for subsidizing 'cheap' canadian drugs.

Re-importation only accelerates the negative effects of foreign price controls, by making all US drug consumers, effectively, canadians. Eh?

Allowing re-importation of these drugs is economically much like letting someone legally buy pirated goods. If it was legal to buy stolen goods, profits would quickly shift entirely from those who actually design and build these items, to those who are the best at stealing and reselling them. It destroys the incentive structure to create, and to optimize those creations - neither of which the pirate can do. But the pirate does win a lot of friends short-term by delivering things 'cheaply.' Sound familiar?

In this case, those profits shift to the Canadian government, in the form of political support for a failing healthcare system and to provide the short-term illusion of a free lunch. But the real costs to develop and produce these things still exist, and shift unequally to the american consumer. If in response, all consumers are allowed to buy from Canada, it just falls apart faster.

Since those doing the 'stealing' don't have the smarts to invent these things, the industries that do slowly contract, while becoming less able to produce adequate supply. This causes scarcity and real shortages. That's the last thing anyone needs.

Long term, it can't last if everyone does it. Allowing reimportation would, basically, let 'everyone do it.' And because of the coercive actions of foreign governments, no less.

Not surprisingly, this follows the typical American role in the world. Americans often do the heavy lifting, be it innovation or defense of freedom - bearing the costs, while many others do little, and benefit from it.



I'm not trying to argue with you, only playing Devil's Advocate because I know these will be questions she will ask me and I want to be prepared.



Sure. No problem.
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