A recent controversy involving a medication for toxoplasmosis is coming to an end. The company owned by Martin Shekreli (aka Pharma Bro) is being undercut by a competitor.
A drug company plans on introducing the first competitor to Daraprim, the parasitic-fighting drug that’s met national controversy for its skyrocketing price tag. The company, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, says its new drug will be available for only $1 a tablet — a stark difference from Daraprim’s $750.
Of course the conservatives are noting the irony that liberals are celebrating the free market solution. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no irony here. First, it wasn’t the free market that the liberals were criticizing. It was greed that they were criticizing; not greed in the Gordon Gekko sense but in the biblical sense.
Second, there is no such thing as a free market in healthcare. With the number of regulations that have been pit on the pharmaceutical industry, one cannot say there is a free market. The fact that someone was able to find a way around the regulations that Pharma Bro was expecting to protect him is an exception. Plus, by the definition of a free market, it is impossible to have a free market. When one party can literally say “your money or your life,” there is always going to be that element of coercion present.
While Pharma Bro is getting what he deserves, let’s keep in mind that this is a problem created by government. Many on the left is calling for new regulations to keep this from happening. Rather than new regulations, we should first revisit the current regulations that prevent new players in the market from entering and fix them.