Drug Company Payoffs Curtailed by One Dollar Fines (Actually, the Pharmaceutical Equivalent)

Headline: Drugmakers Back Watered-Down Disclosure Bill The revised bill…calls for drugmakers to publicly report gifts over $500; originally, that was $25. And fines were reduced to between $1,000 and $50,000 for each violation.

Why would the drug makers back fines for doing what they have always done and will continue to do? What if every time you got ticketed for speeding the fine ranged from one nickel to one dollar, with no points on your license? Would you care if you got caught every once in a while (or even more than once in a while)? Since they have been able to lobby for changes that make punitive punishment painless to themselves, it only makes sense that pharmaceutical manufacturers would back the bill.

Actually, if I were in charge, I would allow “gifts” of any amounts to be paid to doctors, as long as there was a big sign in front of their office acknowledging as much. If you go to your urologist, outside there would have to be a billboard saying:

Last year I took my family to Hawaii for free because I prescribed more Proscar than any other urologist in the city.

Or, how about your cardiologist? His billboard might say:

I put my kid through college thanks to my Vytorin prescription rates. Now that Vytorin has fallen from grace, I am awaiting gifts from another statin manufacture before I decide what to prescribe for you.

Full disclosure and fully-informed consent can only work, however, when there is genuine competition to the profession that thrives by drugging everything that moves. So, in addition to the billboards, we must disband state medical licensing boards and free all healers to compete for the healthcare dollar on equal footing.

How outrageous of me to suggest that the consumer should be free to choose the method of health care or disease management, rather than the government. Do not panic, you could still choose pharmaceutical drugs if that’s what you want. What’s the persistent (chronic) problem? The drug monopoly and the government that it has purchased do not share your love of liberty, only your dependence upon drugs.

It should be obvious that this does not a healthy culture make.