The UK’s NHS chooses Expensive Drug from US Drug Maker Merck because it’s Better than Anything they Have

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 11th, 2012

Week in Review

What’s the difference between pre-Obamacare US health care and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS)?  Incentive.  In the US there is an incentive to pour billions of dollars into research and development.  To produce the next super drug.  Whereas in the UK drug companies only make as much as the government allows.  Or is willing to pay.  Creating a disincentive to pour billions of dollars into research and development.  Which is why the NHS’ new hepatitis C drug comes from the US (see Merck’s hepatitis C drug wins UK cost endorsement by Ben Hirschler posted 3/9/2012 on Reuters).

U.S. drug maker Merck & Co’s new hepatitis C drug Victrelis was recommended for use within Britain’s state health service on Friday, despite its hefty price tag.

Critics will say that we shouldn’t allow Merck to charge so much for their drug.  That it is wrong to profit off of disease.  That the US should stop this price gouging like they do in the UK.  So should we?  Well, to answer that question all you have to do is to consider who made this new hepatitis C drug.  And who was that?  The US, of course.  Because Merck COULD charge this much for their drug.  Which just goes to show you that when you want the best you’re better off relying on the profit system than altruism.  Because profits provide incentive to make the best.  While altruism doesn’t.


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