As we know the USA is the bastion and the major promoter of the Free Market, minimum Gov’t interference, minimum regulation (eg. no maternity leave, no legalised annual vacation), low or no minmum wage, minimum taxes, every man for himself more or less, you get picture.
For a whole variety of reasons there is an ongoing epidemic of deaths from overdosing on opiates and heroin in this “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. The latest years Govt produced figures are for 2015, current estimates put deaths from overdosing on these two drugs to be close to 1,000 per week!
One Corporation in particular is doing something about it , Kaleo has been marketing EVZIO, (oloxone HCI injection) basically a self administered injectable antidote. The graphs above display the huge and growing need/demand for such a product. Here’s where the Free Market really comes into its own; when demand is increasing and the supply is limited (because you control it thru patent/intellectual property laws), then economic theory says the price will rise,,,,,, and boy has it risen !
EVZIO cost $690 a unit in 2014, the 2017 price is $4,500! A 650% increase. In fairness many USA companies have learned this basic economic theory; fresh faced MBA graduates from Ivy League colleges get paid small fortunate to explain it to them. Hospira Corp. market a cheap version of a similar item, which has only increased 230% in the last 3 years, from $62.29 to $142.49.
if you are wondering why you haven’t heard about Kaleo’s rip off maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that it’s a product that is only needed by drug users? “They made their bed let them lie in it”. ” Am I my brothers keeper?” .If they want to blow their minds that’s their problem”. “What do they contribute to society anyway” But if your Patent Lawyer has secured your intellectual property rights for the next 17 years then these “no hopers” are hugely important……. To your bottom line!
We all heard the public furore on TV and in the media when Mylan Corp raised it’s Epipen prices by 400% (and its CEO get her salary increased to €18,976,000 pa). But that was different, the users of Epipens are good people, just like you and me and it’s the ugly side of the Free Market when it starts to screw “normal people”, but in the end the System won, she’s still getting her €18 Mil and we’re all paying way over the odds for Epipens.
PS. Don’t ask the obvious question. Why is this epidemic of death from overdosing happening in the richest, most vibrant, militarily mightiest, country in the world?